Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Weird twin moment

They were sitting up when I left the room. Came back two minutes later to them like this. 

Grandma Bucklin

Last week we lost my last living grandparent, she had turned 92 in October.  I'm pretty certain if she did not have a stroke 5 years ago she would have been one of those ladies that lived until like 118!  

Even though I did not see my grandma often enough, I have many fond memories of the things she did and the way she was. 

I recently read this quote:  “Someone else is happy with less than you have” – that someone else would be my Grandma Bucklin. 

Grandma grew up with very little and worked so hard for the most of her life.  Many of those years were dedicated to Maytag, where she was very proud of the work she completed.  Grandma was wise with her pennies, spending very little on herself and stretching each penny in little ways like only using 1 light bulb in a fixture that called for 2 or 3. 

Grandma was good with numbers.  She always remembered our birthdays and had them announced on the radio.  When we were little she would make us our very own mini birthday cake.  She has given me over 30 birthday cards, each would have included $10, along with a reminder note to renew my drivers license.  It was always funny getting this reminder from grandma as she never had a driver’s license of her own to worry about renewing. 

Since she did not drive, she walked everywhere!  She walked miles to school as a child, walked to work, walked to the store for groceries and was still walking 2 miles a day in her late 80’s.  She would even pass up rides on cold days.

Grandma enjoyed the company of friends and family.  She shared many beautiful stories and quite possibly knew the family tree of each person she knew.  She was a regular visitor at the senior citizens and loved playing BINGO, and if I recall right, I think she was pretty darn good at BINGO.

Grandma loved to travel and traveled the world after she retired.  I still remember the wooden dolls she brought us from Russia. 

Grandma was a strong woman.  She lived through cancer, she lived through a major stroke and to my surprise, I recently learned she had tuberculosis, which caused her to be hospitalized for nearly two years and to lose a lung.  Of course all of this may come to a surprise to some of you since I am certain she never complained about any of these things.  My grandma was in no way a complainer, she accepted what she had and kept on smiling!  Over the past couple years, one thing that grandma would consistently tell each of us is how she was the last of her siblings left and she had lived longer than each of them, even with life’s challenges, she stayed strong.

Grandma was a collector, she had a beautiful collection of angels.  Each time I see an angel, I will certainly be thinking of my Grandma Bucklin, the wonderful person she was, the modest life she lived, her kind heart and the beautiful smile she wore EVERY DAY.  Even her last day. 

Bye now.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Our return to the East coast

So excited to share some pics from a little trip we just went on.  We have not been to NYC since we lived in New Jersey in 05/06, so I was really excited to see the city again.  Most of all, I was excited to go on a vacation with my husband, it’s been three years since we went to Hawaii. )That is always one thing I tell people without kids – TRAVEL as much as you can, even if it’s a last-minute weekend get-away, it’s so much harder to get away when you have little ones.)  So along with Adam and Sarah, we went to Westport, Connecticut to visit Keith’s cousin Erin.  Erin and Jim have a little girl who is just 1-2 months older than Olivia, so it was fun to play with her too. 


Connecticut was a first for me and it is BEAUTIFUL, I would like to go back and explore more someday.  We were lucky that the trees still had leaves and they were really pretty still.  They had a really cute little shopping / main street as well – which I could probably do some serious damage on, so probably good we didn’t spend too much time there.  Jim and Erin were fabulous hosts and it was so fun to hangout with them and get to know them more.  Keith is so lucky to have tons of really fun cousins, but most of them live all around the country so it is a rare occasion to see any of them! 


Friday was a really cool experience (especially for me and Sarah)!  Jim and Erin are good friends with Anthony Edwards and he is shooting a movie in NYC with Heather Graham, so we got to hang out on the set and watch them do a scene.  He was so nice, showed us all around the set and told us about the movie and even hooked us up with headphones so we could hear the scene. VERY COOL EXPERIENCE!!!  Afterwards we had a delicious lunch at an Italian restaurant.  If you are ever on the East coast, you have to eat Italian food – it’s the best!!! We also walked around Time Square and Rockefeller Center.  They just put the tree up that day.  Our good friend Eric Lane was also able to meet up with us for a little bit before we got back on the train to CT. 


Saturday morning we walked along the beach, which is always fun! I haven’t been to a beach for a few years, so I always enjoy the water.  We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at the house and then ate Sushi before heading back to NYC.  Keith’s cousin Erika and her family (Erin’s sister) recently moved to Philadelphia, so they were so kind to make the trip up to the city for dinner. We ate at a delicious Mexican restaurant.  And it was great to see them, so nice of them to spend their Saturday commuting to see us!    


Another highlight – which I totally would have missed, but Sarah was on it – we were taking a picture in front of the restaurant when Sarah started yelling out Bethenny Frankel, she was going to chase her down, but Keith had to pull us back in.  And I would have been all for it, except she didn’t seem super excited to see us. 


After dinner is when our night started to get really exciting!  Keith, Sarah and I parted from the group and hopped in a cab for New Jersey to go to the JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE CONCERT.  I can’t even tell you how excited I was to be going to this concert.  I have been wanting to go since he announced his tour. LOVE HIM!  So our cab ride was going well, or as well as it can and right as we are pulling into the IZOD center they directed us into a traffic jam for the drop-off parking.  This was fine at first, then our cab driver started to get a little weird and maybe mad would be a good word.  It looked pretty sketchy along the road so we thought we would stay – then after we saw no end in sight and a few others had started to walk by we decide to use (not our best judgment – but, I was not missing this concert judgment) and we hopped out of our car and hiked it the rest of the way.  Our seats were great and the show was really good. He played for about 3 hours – old stuff, new stuff and a couple other fun things.  The stage was really cool because a there was a catwalk that broke off and then that moved all the way across the floor.  This was my first time going to a concert out of Iowa and I will say I think the Iowa crowd is far louder and excited for the artist. 


Sunday came fast and we were on our way back home to see the kids!  A big thank you to Keith’s parents, my parents and Sarah’s mom and grandparents for watching all the kids – it really does take a village!  Olivia was super excited to see me and just held on so tight to me and wouldn’t let me out of sight (and this is my number reason I don’t travel much – I hate to be away from my babies for too long).  But it did feel so good to have a break from everything and I love NYC and all its energy! 


This is where we left our cab!

carriage ride in Central Park
The movie set
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More Bday fun!

We took a day off work to enjoy the boys being 5!  We took them to their 5 year appointment (which they forgot to leave a sheet with me with stats, so I need to call for that).  Then we went and let them pick out NEW BIKES!!!  We debated getting these since they will probably grow this winter, but decided they won't grow too much.  We wondered if they would get the same.  At first  Dylan was certain he would get the same as Carter.  Both were going to get the green bikes.  Then Carter changed his mind, then Dylan did too - we were about to buy an orange bike and a blue bike, then last minute they switched back to green:)

Afterwards we went to Scratch for cupcakes. LOVE THAT PLACE!  I really wanted to go on a bike ride,  but it was super cold, so we took them to climb Iowa.  They did much better than last.  Carter got really high and I am certain he could have made it to the top until he looked down and got scared.  Overall, it was a very fun birthday day.  

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5 things I love about Olivia right now


1)       This girl is a hoot – and I really love when she says what an owl says… this quiet little hoooo, hoooo and she smiles and bops her head side to side

2)      I’m not sure if I love this, but it makes me laugh that she calls Keith mom ALL THE TIME!  I have no idea why, she used to call him dad???  

3)      She is really into putting stuff down her shirt now – like her pacifier, last night was a cow

4)      I love how she copies EVERYTHING we do.  When I brush my teeth she gets her tooth brush out, when I do makeup, does hers, if any of us lay on the floor on our stomach, she does the same.  She loves her brothers so much and gets so excited to play with them and do anything they are doing.

5)      Love how she is such a sponge, she is learning so many words and to do so many things for herself.  Just love this girl so much!!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday boys!!!


Very late posting these!  At least a month within the party.  After our friend party and soccer game we had a family party with a few friends too.  Certainly a full house to help us celebrate.  Keith still had dry ice left so he was able to do more experiments for the kids.  And adults too:)

I'm bummed my camera was taking blurry pics when I was doing the boys bday pics.

Ninja Turtle stuff was certainly the topic with gifts.  They were so lucky to get all sorts of great gifts!  Aunt Sarah picked them out wallets, so we got to go to Target and they each paid with their own birthday money, so that was fun for me and them!   Big thank you to everyone who came and helped celebrate!  And even bigger thanks for the kind gifts.  

Our space cake.  And lesson learned - black frosting is a bad idea!!!  You know who ate the cake though.  

I can't believe my little guys are 5 already, I'm not ready for them to grow up, go to school and be big kids. I tell them that and they tell me not to worry, they will always be my baby.  They also tell me they will build us a big house and we can all live together forever:)  I'm a lucky lady!!!
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