Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If ever there comes a day when we can’t be together…


Monday was my grandma's funeral.

Below is the speech I wrote.


Let it be known, I have a huge fear of public speaking.  But I knew if I didn’t make myself say something, I would regret it later on. I kept telling myself, You feel like you can't do this, but you’re gonna do it anyway... because that's the kind of strength she had.

I tried so hard to read it in front of the everyone, but my emotions kicked in, my heart started racing, and tears quickly filled my eyes.  I had done alright up until this point. But it was clear that I was on the verge of doing the ugly cry

Luckily, my knight-in-a- purple-tie, was there to save me.

Ryan got up on that stage with me, and started reading right where I had stopped.


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This year, I wish our biggest worry was which candy to fill our bowl with for Halloween.

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But instead life had other plans.

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We had hoped that all of her battles would ultimately win the war. But it just didn't happen that way.

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I was lucky enough to witness her courage, that will continue to inspire me, and help me through any struggles in my future.

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namma 031And although she is no longer with us; I absolutely still have hope.


Some might ask me "how?" - When this is the outcome. Well...

I have hope that there will someday be a cure. 

And I have hope that each day my heart will hurt a little less, even though I know it will never fully heal.

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I know that today is a brand new day, full of new adventures, and a life to be lived.

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But I can't help and think about what she would be doing right now, or what I'll see today that will remind me of her.

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And most of all, how sad I'll be when I can't call her and tell her about it.

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Still life goes on.

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And there will be days where I wish I was able to hug her tight, or see her smile.

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And there will be summers where we go camping and I'll be thinking about all the great memories we made at Jellystone Park, or when we ate egg sandwiches in the woods.

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But the truth is, she always be in my heart, she'll always be with me.



My only regret is being on a diet the last time she made her amazing peanut butter fudge.



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One of the many great things about my Grandma was you never knew what she was gonna say.

[One-of-a-kind doesn't really begin to cover it.]

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My Grandma has been making me laugh my entire life.

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She was my own personal Lucille Ball.

I Love Lucy was our "thing".

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I've always loved the 1940's and 50's. I will really miss listening to her stories.

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That's something that is really hard about losing someone. You also lose their memories, their information, that part of history. 

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What I know for sure is;

She loved God, her family, her friends, and her church.

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And that she had a great sense of humor, no matter how hard life got.

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There is no doubt in my mind I will think about our memories, and smile no matter where I am, or what I'm doing.

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She often said things like: "Bless your heart." and "E-gads".

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And would listen to Alan Jackson on constant repeat in her car.

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I'll miss her creative energy, and the funny stories about her trips to the casino.

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She was a loving, comforting, cookie baking pro, who was kind hearted, hilarious, and my biggest cheerleader.

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Everything a grandma should be and more.

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I will leave you with my favorite Winnie the Pooh quote, that reminds me so much of her, and pretty much sums everything up.

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"If ever there comes a day when we can’t be together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”





To everyone who said nice things, prayed for our family, sent flowers, sent cards, brought food


I can’t explain how blessed we feel that others understand how special my grandma really was. She will be missed by so many, and we can’t thank you enough for your thoughtfulness. <3

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Would you like to come aboard?



This my friends, is my apple orchard. Although it’s shared by loyal customers from miles around, it’s still mine. When I think of Autumn, just as the leaves begin to fall to the ground, glorious in their bright red-ish-orange hues, and the air has a coldness to it that smells like October; This place comes to my mind.

Fall would not be complete without a visit to Spicer’s apple orchard in Hartland, Michigan.


Knowing Ryan needed to leave for Arizona (to complete one of his drill weekends with the Air National Guard), we had to go a little early this year.

The leaves hadn’t started changing quite yet, and we had just missed them putting out the pumpkins, but it was beautiful regardless.

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Their shop is filled with yummy gifts, donuts (that’s reason enough I’d say), candy apples, cider (cold, hot or slushy) and my personal favorite their wine.

Yes, that’s right my orchard has donuts AND wine.

Amen to that!



These are what apples are supposed to look like.

Did you know;  the ones at the grocery store are coated in a wax substance to make them look pretty and shiny? It’s true… unnecessary, and a bit gross.


Being able to come here,  was something I missed every year that I was in Arizona. It’s like an itch I need to scratch.

Last year, I tried to convince Ryan to drive three hours, in search of the nearest apple orchard in Arizona.- Long story short, it didn’t happen. - But he’s not from here, so he wouldn’t understand.


Traditions like this are something that will stay with me forever.  It makes me feel at home, and that I’m right where I belong.


And being able to share it with my son is beautiful.


He literally just swiped a white powdered donut, and shoved it in his mouth before I could stop him.

When he sees sugar, it’s like he completely shuts everyone out, and must have it.

Nothing will stop him.  He’s like a zombie.  Must-eat-brains-sugar.


One day, far from now, when he thinks back to his childhood, I hope he remembers Octobers in Michigan. Because I’m not sure it can get much better than this.




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Finally the best part.  Here is their wine tasting room.


I’m not a big drinker, I absolutely can’t stand beer- I want to like it so bad, but every time I've tried it – it reminded me of (what I think) dishwashing detergent would taste like.

And before I had tried their cranberry wine, I really didn’t like drinking wine at all either.

True story.


Carriage House Cellars, cranberry wine is simply Ah-mazing.


With nothing but good intentions, I gave my mother in law a bottle of it for Christmas last year, and (oh man, this is horrible) every time we got together I would bug her about drinking it with me.  I know it was a gift for her, but I saw it just sitting there, lonely, un-opened, I just couldn’t take it.

(Plus, at that time they weren’t offering long distance shipping, and we lived across the country. It wasn’t like I could  just run up to Wal-Mart and pick up a bottle.)

Even though, I think she was onto my little plan,  she did end up opening it. And as my husband predicted,  I practically drank the whole thing, right in front of her.  It was wrong.   But it’s really that good. 


[note to self: mail her a replacement… and pick up an extra bottle just in case.]


Another great thing about this orchard is the children’s play area. [I think] it’s about $3.00 per child and it’s worth every penny.


We grabbed some cups, a gallon of cider, and a big bag of cinnamon sugar donuts and headed toward the play area.


Walking, listening to the crunching of leaves beneath my feet, I realized my heart was content. This was exactly where I wanted to be.




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As Ryan went to get on the ship, I heard our little man yell out:

“Would you like to come aboard?”  Not sure where he heard that from, but I love that he knew to say it.


Can I just take a second to say,  how much I appreciate that Ryan is such a involved father.


How amazing is it that he will get right on that ship with him?

Seeing that, puts butterflies in my stomach and makes me fall in love with him all over again.


Corn House & Giant Sand Box

When my little man really likes playing with something,  he calls it “work”.

He constantly has to wash his cars in the kitchen sink, and says; “Mom, go in the living room, I’ve got lot’s of work to do.” which really means– leave me alone, so I can play cars and get water all over without being yelled at.


Moving this corn around was no exception. He had major work to do.

Right away, he took on the supervisor position, bossing around a younger employee.  Basically telling him that throwing corn was inappropriate behavior, and that he would need to start doing his job or he would need to pack up his diaper bag, and leave -immediately.


We moved to the sandbox in hopes of a nicer work environment.


After playing there for awhile, we decided we should go ride the bicycles, then see the animals.

We tried telling him it would be really-cool, obviously, he wasn’t convinced.


After we told him he could have more brains another donut, he cheered right up.



Have you ever seen something like this before? Besides at Spicer’s, I’m not sure that I have.


The goats walk up on this really high bridge, while people send up treats for them.


They must have recently remodeled it because I remember it looking a lot more dangerous. No railing, and definitely not that wide.

I often imagined a goat getting too excited from someone promising a treat,  that it runs up the ramp a bit too fast, trips, and falls straight to the ground, while kids scream in the background.

That never did happen (or maybe it did, and that's why they changed it, I don’t really know…) , but thank goodness they fixed it.


They’re almost intimidating.

They’d be great at door to door sales, how are you supposed to tell that face no?

He’s basically saying “Dude, I just walked all the way up here for you.  How you gonna play me like that?”




It’s hard not to get distracted by those smiles.


I mean, if that’s not love, I don’t know what is…



There we were, a happy little family, on a mission to make some memories.


The kind that stick with you.


The kind that last.


Have a great week,


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