Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I wish that somehow this blog post could find its way to you.

I wish, more than anything, that you could be here...right now.

I can't believe that it's been nearly 10 years.

There are so many times that I've wished and prayed and begged God to make these circumstances that are my life, different, than what they are.

When I was growing up, I didn't realize that we lived in this sheltered, happy, little bubble where tragedy and bad things were completely unheard of.

I mean, yeah, we (our family) had our share of issues, and things to deal with...seriously, if we're being honest with ourselves, who doesn't?!

But, when the day was done, and it was time to be tucked into bed, I knew deep down inside, that you and mom loved me more than I could possibly imagine ...

and that I was here, for a reason, a purpose, bigger than myself.

You two helped me believe that.

These days, you will often find me sitting behind the wheel of a Chevy Suburban that is in desperate need of a change of oil, a good vacuuming, and a soapy carwash...

where french fries, stinky basketball shoes, and half drank bottles of water rest upon the floor.

You might call me a 'soccer mom', although these crazy kids of mine have never participated in the sport.

I know my way around any ball field and gymnasium with-in a 75 mile radius...

and a lot of days I want to rip the tiny hairs out of my head,

stressed out to the max,

trying to make a plan about who is supposed to be where, and when, and wondering just how in the hell am I supposed to get 3 kids to 3 different destinations all happening at the same, exact time?!


I wish you were here.

I can't even imagine how loudly you'd be cheering when Tanner sank that game winning, 3-point shot in basketball...

or when Madi struck the 3rd batter out in a clutch game of softball,

or when Tyson finally got over his fear of striking out and hit a grand slam to win the baseball game.

You were my biggest fan,

and I know, with all that I am, that you would be theirs.

I like to think that you are up there,

watching us from above...

reminding me to just BREATHE...

that these moments of stress, are just that, moments...

and they are fleeting and passing me by in the blink of an eye.

And that these kids of mine who were 1 and 2 (and a year from being born) at the time you left us..

somehow know that you are there.

That they have this silent, SUPER, fan cheering them on...

LOVING them from a distance.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Thank You Grandma

Last night I wrote a post entitled, Last Time For Everything...

I didn't realize at the time how fitting this would be just a few short hours later.

This morning my mom called and gave me news that no one ever wants to get.

My grandma Maxine had passed away.

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped in to visit her at the nursing home and didn't realize that it would be the last time that I saw her...

I've blogged about this amazing woman before...
But honestly, though, how do you write a blog post fitting enough to describe a woman who you've looked up to your entire life?

A woman who loved you (and all of her family members) beyond measure...

who made you your favorite meal of ravioli (Stromboli, gobadiels, donuts, ect.) even after cooking two different meals for others (stubborn Norwegians like yourself) just to make you feel like you were someone special and important to her...

who was always quick to flash you that beautiful smile of hers..

who told the most amazing stories about her life (I never tired of her childhood stories, hearing about what she was doing during WWII, or laughing at some antics from her life on the farm with grandpa).

She taught me what it means to be a strong, farm wife (even though I swore up and down that I would never, ever marry a farmer).

I love you grandma.

 This has to be one of my favorite memories of grandma growing up...

making homemade ravioli.

So thankful Madi (and the boys) were able to share this memory with me.

I like to think that these two are getting to meet again...

God, this is some tough stuff.

This granddaughter of yours is going to miss you so very much (and I can't speak for my sister but I know she feels the same)!

Thank you for always making me feel so very loved grandma...

Love, Mandy

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Last Time for Everything

It was well over 60 years ago, when these two people met and fell in love.

Meet my grandma Betty, and my grandpa Dallas.

Two extremely influential people in my life.

These two taught me so much over the years but the single thing I will cherish the most is their LOVE of FAMILY.

Sadly, we've lost a few extremely important members over the years, and a few just couldn't make the trip today (we miss you guys!) ...

but we were still able to come together and celebrate the end of an era.

At the end of the month, grandma is moving to an apartment where there will no longer be enough space for all of us to gather.

Driving away this afternoon it hit me.

This house has been a big constant in my life (and I'm sure many of the people in this photo can say the same). 

It wasn't easy to come to this realization.

I'm going to cherish all of the countless memories we've made here over the years.

Today was our last BBQ get together...

Sadly, there really is a 'last time for everything.' 

We're a BIG group (and quite a few weren't able to be here!)

Great grand-kids.

Comparing bellies...what do you think?

Who wins this battle?!

Grandma with all of her kids standing in front of the house.

Lydell and Dianna and family.

Randy and Marj and family.

David and Debbie and family.

Pam and family.

Candace and family.

Grandma with all 9 of her great grandkids.

Grandma with 10 of 13 of her grandkids.