Last Of The Grandma’s

Another summer has come and gone.

Per usual, our summer in the OC was great… with a couple bumps in the road.

My Grandma dying two days before I was going to visit her… one of the bumps.  I guess on the positive side… I didn’t have to fly in for the Memorial.


Dodger Blue Roses on casket


Memorials are bitter sweet right?  They are great because it’s a purposeful time to reminisce at a “mini reunion”.  But, it was a huge reminder that I will never see or speak to my Grandma again.  That just feels weird.  I mean… do you delete dead peoples numbers from your phone?  Do you take their birthday off your calendar?  What is the etiquette here?

My Grandma loved the Dodgers and she loved collecting dolls.  She loved reading mystery novels and eating cookies.  She loved men.  She loved me.

However… her mind was starting to go and she told me during one visit, “I’m not your Grandma.  Please call me Maxine.”

Of course, instead of doing what she asked, I would say, “Hey Grandma… oh… I mean, Maxine… ”  Every.time.  I feel like no matter what she said or how “out of it in her mind” she was… that deep down, she certainly remembered who I was, whether over the phone or in person.  If you pretend the person with “dementia” is just messing with you… it’s easier.  🙂

Do you find that when you go visit bed ridden people… that it’s hard to know how long to stay?  Is 10 minutes their limit?  Do they want you to stay all day?

My Grandma told me to leave during my last visit with her.  Obviously, overstaying my welcome, I did.  (It was sort of a relief in a way.  A bed ridden person who is losing her mind has little to say about their day.  And, how many times can you answer the question, “Who are you? Where do you live?”)

I didn’t take these things personally.  I had to respect the fact that when you are 95, what you say… goes.

So, the last time I saw my Grandma was last year… because she decided to die two days before this years visit.  Her nephew told me it was best I remember her last year and not the last days.  So, another positive I guess.

RIP Grandma… errrr, I mean… Maxine.

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The Family Reunion

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The Cousins (and my sister on the right)




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The road home

So… 10th Grade Begins

B wanted to get a head start this morning and get to school ONE HOUR before it started.  That means… waking up at 6:45AM.  Never mind that I'm still on WEST COAST time.

He walked out in his shirt and underwear to eat his breakfast.

B:  Well, I guess I'm an adult now, I'm in 10th grade.

B:  I better start the day off with no mess ups.  I'll eat my breakfast now.

Me:  Are you wearing that shirt to school?

B:  YES!

Me:  So, why would you eat with it on if you don't want to spill?

B:  Because I spill on my shorts, not my shirt.  (WHO DOES THAT?????)

**"Adults" use napkins on their laps to prevent this.

B:  (out of the same "adult" mouth)  Can you drop me off in the front of school now because it's closer to my homeroom.  

**God forbid the "adult" walk… a hundred more feet.

B:  (out of the same "adult" mouth) You can pick me up at the same place as last year, unless it rains.  Then, you can pick me up in the front of school.  

**"Adults" use umbrellas.



**  How I wanted to respond, however, refrained.  I just smiled and hugged him… and reminded myself that I'm the actual ADULT in this conversation.  It was hard.



Keystone, CO


B’s First Tennis Banquet

Hopefully this will not be the last tennis banquet.

We were so proud that B got an award for Most Improved!

He did improve and hopefully his "time off" until next season he will improve drastically so he'll make the team as a Sophomore!

We can always use more tennis in our lives!

Go B!

B Tennis-33

Only My Perspective

Today is surprisingly, a very emotional day for me.

For those that don't know, my amazing husband has been running the KURT WILSON 4 CONGRESS campaign since the beginning.  Watching him poor (literally) his blood, sweat and tears into this campaign… it has awakened some things in me that I didn't know existed.  My true love and respect for our country AND for my husband.  (Okay, so my true love for my husband existed, but now it's even more!)

I don't know a harder working guy.  A more passionate guy.  A more humble guy.  And, a true believer in who he is supporting!  And, this country NEEDS us!  Our voice is the only thing that will make this Country be all that it was meant to be!  We lost that in the shuffle.

 In this campaign, I have watched oodles of people (not getting paid) stand up and volunteer their time, daily, in fact, to stand behind Kurt Wilson for Congress.

I have never been so proud to be a part of something so rich.  Even though my "job" was mostly behind the scenes, labeling water bottles and doing database work… I get it.  I get that it takes an army.  Running a campaign is NOT for the light at heart.  In fact, if you can run a Campaign… I believe you can pretty much do anything in this world.  Just trust me on this one.

Please, take this election seriously and go VOTE today, April 18th, if you live in the CD6 part of Georgia!

We have a fighting chance.  It is not and was not easy.

And, we have a fighting chance as Republicans!

No matter what the results are… we conquered.

No matter what the results are… we pursued.

No matter what the results are… we fought the fight for all the other Republicans!

No matter what the results are… we are stronger for it.

No matter what the results are… we won!

God knows.  We are making a difference.

Kurt Wilson did the hard thing.  He stepped out there to be a candidate.  It has to start somewhere.  He has paved the way for ordinary citizens like himself, to run for office in the future.  (My husband did the hard thing too… and he is never allowed to do this again.  HA)

So, what are you waiting for?  Stop reading and go VOTE!  

Like they say, "EVERY VOTE COUNTS."  And, "they" are RIGHT!


Kurt Wilson for Congress

Kurt Wilson for Congress

 Ps… vote for Marie for City Council too.  (You can see how I strategically have her sign in the wee background.)

Help! I need to find a toilet! Quick!

You guys.  I am so… terrible.

When Braedan types "OK" as a response to a text, his phone changes it to:  Help!  I need to find a toilet!  Quick!

He has no idea why.

I learned something from FB.

You go into your kids iPhone… Settings… General… Keyboard… Text Replacement… (I'm giving you step by step, because you have to give it a whirl)  


You ADD the word OK (or whatever your kid types the most to his friends) in the SHORTCUT.  

Then, add a funny "phrase" in the Phrase area (like:  I have to poop!  Or, something worse)

Then… when your kid FINALLY (man, it took like 10 days for him to actually use the word "ok" with me) you get something like this:




It is a SHOCK he has never referred to me as the EVIL STEP MONSTER.  

Love that kid.  

And, now I'm going into his phone to change it up a bit.  Just to keep him on his toes.  You know.

Our Busker

This is something I never thought in a million years would happen.

B would be a "busker" at the local grocery store.

Truthfully though, his Orchestra teacher set this up with the store for a bunch of her kids to sign up and bring cheer to the Publix shoppers during the holidays. So, it really wasn't a money making opportunity.

However, Braedan assured me, that even though him and his buddy were not going to "pass the plate" or "put out a jar"… he would gladly accept any money anyone threw at him!

And… they did.  He walked away with his half of SIX BUCKS!

I'm super proud of this kid right now, even though I'm still in shock he did this.  I'm impressed… they stood there playing for one hour… making people smile, sing and dance.  They brought joy to the shoppers and cashiers (and cute little girls).  It was cool to witness.  And, they did this with TWO BASSES.  It is interesting, listening to only basses play Christmas carols.  Who knew!?

I love that he went out of his comfort zone… to do something he is passionate about… music.

And, the icing on the cake?  They did it with all sincerity, in front of products that wipe up messes!




Professional Vacationers

Aruba 2016-4When you find ARUBA… you find those people I like to call, Professional Vacationers.

I want to be a Professional Vacationer when I grow up. 

Jason surprised me with a 10th Anniversary trip to Aruba this year.  It was amazing.

I didn't want to know where we were going until I got off the plane.

Everyone thought that would be impossible.  

They were right.

I opened my email the morning we were leaving and Kurt one of Jason's friends was returning an email to me and said, "Have fun in ARUBA!"

Well… dude… I DID!

Aruba is an amazing little island.  Fun people live there and vacation there.  I didn't know it could literally fit between the California coast and Catalina Island.  They de-salinatize their own water and it is really good water to drink (hello California… maybe you should try this!).  They create their own natural gas (we do this at home too).  They have a jail with more foreigners in it than Arubians.  Everyone gets some land from the Government for $100 per year.  You can drive the entire Island in about 6 hours.  And… the water is so blue and green that a photo cannot do it justice!

When we become Professional Vacationers (that is a fancy name for the retired people that like to travel and then tell all the other people they meet while traveling… where the latest places they traveled to were) we might be needing to spend more time in Aruba… the HAPPY ISLAND!

Aruba 2016-37

Aruba 2016-2 Aruba 2016-24

Tales of the Embarrassing Step Mother

While driving B to HIGH school this morning… I might have done something……. not out of character for me.

First, in my defense… High School was an amazing time in my life!  When I go to his High School with all the excitement going on… this happiness occurs in my bones.  

Second, in my defense… I am 49, but I feel and possibly act 29.  I can't help it.  Life is fun!

Third, I had my window down (in my bright blue MINI Cooper).

While sitting in traffic, along comes a convertible Mustang on the opposite side of the street with 2 boys sitting up on the back with Roswell flags, yelling and having a grand old time!  They were getting us fired up for the football game tonight and reminding us that Roswell is going to win.  (We are 8th in the country!)

The guy (who really should show all the RHS cheerleaders how to do their job) waves his flag, looks right at me and yells at the top of his lungs, "GO ROSWELL!!"

What was I to do?  Just look at him and smile?

I threw my arm up in the air and shouted at the top of my lungs… WOOHOO!!!!!

I was laughing and turned to B… who was not even cracking a smile (WARNING: 14 year olds tend not to crack smiles.  Ever.).  A sense of OH NO washed over me… he's probably so embarrassed.

I told him that the guy should be a male cheerleader and he told me in return, "That guy is my TI for Orchestra."

I followed that up with, "Braedan, I'm sorry, but you just have to love me for who I am."

And, I dropped him off. 

Icing on the cake… my hair looked like this:



Thanks Team Maggie!

A shout out to Team Maggie… for letting me wake up on a Saturday morning at 5am stop by to take some photos of the 5K/10K.

Great people.  Great cause.


Team Maggie 5-10k-8

6am + GA Tech Softball Team Volunteers
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Team Maggie Start

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One of the First Placers!
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First Place for the teen group!

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My Side Gig

I love my side job… especially when I don't get paid!  (But, I'm not CRAZY!  I like $$!)
I always have the privilege of taking photos for charity events!  The most recent one was for CHOA (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta).
I never know how much money is raised.  I never know many people at the event.  I never know who sponsors it (until I arrive).  However, I'm excited to roam around and take photos of the decor + the amazing people with a heart who do plan, sponsor, attend + donate.
I love capturing the fun decor, but, more than that, I love capturing people in the moment.  The faces of those around us who would take time out of their "busy-ness" to attend, yes, a party, but a party with meaning and a cause and something they donate hard earned money towards.
Thank you to all the people at the party.  By just your being there, you are helping parents and children in more ways than you can imagine.  And, a special thanks to those who donated generous gifts that could be bid on.  It's all going to an amazing cause.  I mean, who are more important than our children, our next generation!
A shout out to Events of a Lifetime, for letting me be a part!
CHOA-2 CHOA-20 CHOA-22 CHOA-44 CHOA-78 CHOA-127 CHOA-217 CHOA-228  CHOA-270 CHOA-283