a goodbye to grammy

Last weekend my 96 year old Grammy passed away. 

I'm having a slight difficulty in writing this because there were two versions of my grandmother in my memory. There is the rounder, younger and much healthier version. The Grammy who lived walking distance away from us in Maine. The Grammy who was like a second mother. "Only three fig newtons Laurie!" type of Grammy. The Grammy I would watch old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies with and have sleepovers with. And then there was the Grammy later in life... The last ten years have not been easy on her. But she’s tough as nails and she stayed with us. From her coma to several breaks and falls and surgeries, she was still here. Having to leave her home for a nursing home was not easy for her but it was a physical necessity. It was a safety thing. And lately you could just tell... she was done. She had had enough. And I cannot blame her. Since I stopped working almost ten years ago I have spent every Monday (not as often lately as her health deteriorated) with her and my mom... but I wish my last visit with her could have gone better... And try as I might I know I won’t be able to forget it. But I do know this: I told her I loved her twice (the second time she responded that she loved me too, so thankful for that tiny miracle) and then she told me that she wanted to go home. And she is home, finally. I can only imagine her joy to finally be reunited with my Poppop after twenty-nine years apart. 

as the saying goes, let us skate!

Or something like that.

David's Cub Scout Troop did this last year, and as the hobbit-footed husband of mine could no longer skate I was the one to take him to the event. This year though it moved from the old arena to the actual Giant Center. Like where the Hershey Bears play.... Which if you are not local means jack squat to you I am sure unless you know that the Bears are the farm team for the Washington Capitals. I know a little bit of hockey lingo... I know, shocking. But! This is also where we always go to see Disney on Ice so... didn't I feel special?

He was insistent that he would not need my hand this year. Which surprise surprise, he did! Eventually he allowed me to help him a little but it still was slow going for awhile. There was a lot of oh hey mom can I do a lap on my own and such. I guess he may be too cool for me anymore? And I really try to be the cool mom so come on David, give me some credit! He thought the penalty box was the ballot box which was the cutest thing ever. And eventually after a few new blisters and a few falls he decided he was ready to head home. And I got him a Frosty for not making me stay the entire two hours because mama forgot to wear long socks and she had quite a few new blisters herself. Rookie move Olsen. Rookie move.

my niece turned two!

A few weeks ago (ish) the littlest little niece on my side of the family (for now, wink wink) turned two! And we all got together over the weekend to celebrate her! She had an ear infection again but that didn't stop her from playing and eating and opening all the gifts. As always my sister-in-law has all the theme on point, Valentine's Day this year, as it were.

I am also going to need a new phone. The portrait mode just is not what it once was.

so what's new with you?

I haven't done one of these since November...Because well, the holidays. And then January came around and that month is just so blah is it not? And it lasted longer than all of the fall and holiday months combined. At least that's how it felt to me and a ton of other people on Instagram.... And now here we are... already almost a week in to the month. Let us just all agree that the first three months of the year are the absolute worst months of the year and I don't care if they just go by in a blink. Unless I lived somewhere with palm trees and that gorgeous tropical water I love so much. Then they would be fine, I'm sure.

24 hours at the hershey lodge

You know me, when my kids have off school I want to do something. I want to make it special! I don't want to hear their fighting all day over a Minecraft avatar! So for last week's MLK day I thought hey! Let's try something I've heard about pretty much right in our back yard... the water park at Hershey Lodge. And literally the night before my brother-in-law and his family decided to also join us! We headed up after the gym on Sunday and were able to check in (and get our Hershey bars, naturally) right away even though our room wasn't ready yet... 

what i’ve been reading lately

I always love reading posts about what books people have read and whether I should be reading them too so here is my addition to said group. I track the books throughout the year for a reason right? I had a goal of reading a book a week in 2019 and I came in at 57 total for the year so, yay! Trying to figure out how to group these is kind of daunting... but I tried!

our final fun day at sea

Our final day at sea started off great! We went to bed the night prior expecting it to be a cold cold day so we were all so happy that it was warm! Enough to get the bathing suits on a final time! We took the kids to the water slides again and Letty even did the green one! As did I! Once was enough for me though!

a final beach day!

This day was much more organized! There was only one cruise ship at port which was huge. This was Freeport... The damage done to this island during the past hurricanes was something to see! Sad, of course! But to actually see it first  hand and not on the news was wild. They have done a lot obviously, but you can see they were hit hard. We got right on to a double decker open air bus and off we went! The driver was incredible informative but goodness did it feel like we were listing to the left the entire drive. No seat belts or windows oh my! My sister and I were a little anxious... and happy to get to the beach!

nassau and blue lagoon island!

Guess what this private island has? Can you guess? A blue lagoon. That is coincidentally my most favorite of shades of blue. And! Dolphins!!!! But first... getting there! After this pretty sunrise!

our time on princess cay!

Princess Cay is on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Try pronouncing that name huh? We ended up botching it and calling it uretha all day. Which is silly. It's such a beautiful island! You tender right off the boat and there are chairs all set up and a bar and food and it's just all prepared for a perfect day of beachy fun! Unfortunately my niece's health had taken a turn for the sick over the night so my brother and his family stayed on board. For the entirety of the cruise. Sick kids on vacation is no beauno! The rest of us headed out with our priority tender time which was just super! These platinum perks just keep on coming!

our new year's eve!

This was also the first formal night of the cruise. I love dressing up on cruises. That's the only place I enjoy it I think. And it was extra special because it was a holiday! Which incidentally, I hope you had a really awesome one! I felt like I was channeling my grandmother this night. The pleats in the skirt of my dress, the peep toe shoes, and of course her very own beaded clutch! I'm sure she would not have been imbibing on New Year's Eve but still. The girls wore their matching dresses and Harrison looked so stinking cute in his top hat! He even gave me multiple kisses this night. That boy. Has. My. Heart.

our second fun day at sea

Now this was more like it! The sun showed off... The kids slept really well... Alright alright so I spent the week sharing a twin bed with Dominic but I mean he's a good cuddle buddy and these days are fleeting so, moving on. And most importantly? It. Was. Warm. After first breakfast and then you know, second breakfast, the kids headed once more to the pool! And then immediately to mini golf. I hate watching my kids mini golf. It's sort of the worst. They always rush ahead. They are just awful at it. It's no fun. I'm sorry but... I said it. Thankfully we had the water slides and park area to get them away from the clubs....

our rocky and rainy first "fun day at sea"

That's what they call it. They as in Carnival. A Fun Day at Sea. And it normally is! They are kind of the best! Laying out and baking in the sun... taking multiple breaks for all the foods. All the drinks. Reading. That sort of thing. And since my kids are over the age of two that also means they can go to Camp Ocean and play with their peers.... 

we went on a cruise!

Oh how I loathe to be back. Back to school. Back to the routines. Back to the cold. Back to reality. My kids have been off of school for two weeks so... pray for us this morning as they go right back into real life (rude). Especially the day after a vacation. Especially the day after a vacation after Christmas! It's all too much to bear!

christmas day, the evening portion

Since the dawn of the Christmas Eve party Matt and I have taken to hosting Christmas Dinner. He cooks all day... I try to make the table look nice (I always feel like I'm Dorinda.... I MADE IT NICE!!!!).... And everyone comes to us. He makes quite a spread too! 

Our house isn't quite conducive to large gatherings of people opening presents so after a quick dinner clean up we headed to my parent's to open up all the gifts! The Secret Santa ones exchanged with my siblings and their kids and then my parent's gifts to the kids. And our gifts to them. My older brother is missing because well, he is off travelling the world or something like that. We miss you! But don't do that again! You promised!

The kids got more perfect gifts and the noise and the mess and the mayhem! I love it! We are a certain brand of crazy but I wouldn't have it any other way!