Viewing category: Sylvia

Sleepover

Last weekend we had a cousin sleepover. My sister and I had the bright idea (finally) of swapping out Friday nights with the little cousins allowing for some much needed quiet nights/nights out on the town for the parents.  The kids did great- they are finally at an age where you don’t have to worry about choking, wandering off (okay, so maybe you have to watch Big Whit), wetting the bed, or otherwise terrorizing both animals and home.

Instead, it was arts and crafts, popcorn and movies with sleeping bags set up in Meme’s suite. Very fitting- I think she would have liked having them camp out on “her side.”  Saturday morning they awoke super early so by 9am, when we had already been up for 3 hours, we hit Dunkin Doughnuts then headed to Sassy and Pops house where the kids wouldn’t take ‘no answer’ to their unanswered beating on the door as ‘no one is home.’  Sorry, mom.

With the holiday season officially here, it somehow comes with a bittersweetness. Last year, as I took pictures of her on Thanksgiving day, in the back on my mind I thought it could be her last Thanksgiving but in my heart thought she would gather with us for more years to come. Holidays may have an bit of a sting this year.  But I have to remind myself,  how sad would it be if it wasn’t.  There is still so much to be grateful for.

Sleepover via grateful simplicity

Sleepover via grateful simplicity

 

Sleepover via grateful simplicity

Sleepover via grateful simplicity

Door #2– suspecting Sassy was still asleep they beat on her bedroom door.

 

Sleepover via grateful simplicity

Front door. Sorry SBK, but everyone has an itch sometimes.

 

 

 

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Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day should be once a month, in case anyone wants to know what I think on the matter. Bi-weekly preferable.   We are going to spend the day tomorrow on the boat on a little island just off the coast. Hoping for some relaxing, resting, peace (and calm seas).  Aunt Britty and her crew will join us as our mama is away for a bit.

Here is to a wonderful and happy mother’s day to the amazing mama’s in my life.

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Looking back via grateful simplicity

 

 

Reasons to Celebrate via grateful simplicity

 

Welcome to the World, Catie T yler

happy birthday to you via grateful simplicity

 

Goodbye, #GrowingUpOnGlenmoreDrive

 

happy birthday to you via grateful simplicity

 

Over the river and through the woods via grateful simplicity

Claire Ellen via grateful simplicity

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xo

Never before seen footage

Britton brought me an old memory card and said, “you might still want this because there’s a lot of photos on it.”  Sure enough. Thankfully, these now irreplaceable photos taken in July2016 have been backed up (and backed up once more) for prosperity.   #Lifeat1259 has changed yet continues. Raynes was always thankful for an audience appreciative of his latest craft creation.  Meme, a fellow artist herself, was willing to give him the attention positive feedback he needed.  I believe we recently found a sketch book of Meme’s where on at least 32 of the pages was the same woman’s face sketched in pencil. She may not have had much variety in her subject matter but she darned sure nailed the one she drew.

 

Never before seen footage via grateful simplicity

Never before seen footage via grateful simplicity

 

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July 2016

 

Sylvia Landrum

I had all but given up… keeping up with this ol’ blog. With the arrival of Instagram, snap chat, Insta stories and facebook, a blog seems somewhat antiquated. But then my 13 year old asks me, ‘When are you going to renew your blog?’  to which I ignore. Then my mom, then my other daughter.. And finally, Mr. R who says, ‘just renew it already. You will be sorry if you don’t.’  They are probably right– while these posts are more like ramblings than anything, the intent has remained constant over the past 11 years since inception. Keeping memories for prosperity.

So here we are.

And in light of recent events, it seems more important now than ever.

The last time I posted was on March 21, 2017.

That night, Mom had an impromptu dinner at her house for my never ending birthday.  We had our extended family with usual odd family discussions of bathroom habits, fashion, and on this particular evening– family genealogy.   Mom didn’t even complain about the mess all the little people left behind when I called to thank her.

Everything in our house changed the next day.

Britton was home sick and I had a doctor’s appointment that morning (welcome to 40).  Around lunch time Britton called me asking for Panera for lunch. Feeling guilty that she was home sick for a second day (the girl doesn’t like missing school) had me leave the office once again, telling my co-worker I wouldn’t be more than 20 minutes, to run through the Panera drive through for her chicken noodle soup.  One the way home I saw our yardman at the neighbors house which reminded me I needed to give him a check.  I parked my car, ran quickly inside, put Britton’s Panera bag on the counter, called up to her, and dashed back to Meme’s suite to give her the check for the yardman. She always likes a good task. I immediately knew something was wrong when I walked into her living room. The TV wasn’t on and she was slouched on the couch.  Always one to ‘pop up’ as to not catch her snoozing, Meme would never remain lying at the sound of her French doors clicking opening. As soon as I saw her I knew she was having a stroke.

I ran to the kitchen, grabbed the land line dialing 911- and instructed Britton to call my mom and tell her that I was calling the ambulance.

It turned out to be a catastrophic stroke. She passed away exactly fourteen days later.  Meme would have been 91 on April 19th.  We had reservations at Sea Island, where she has spent the better part of 60 years visiting, to celebrate her birthday.  We are all adjusting to our new normal- my children included.  Everyone mourns different, and has a different mourning maturity. We miss her very much – along with her organic food she would sneak into my pantry, trash bags she liked to stick up on, and the not-so-gentle reminders of, “Garrett did you feed Poochie yet?” everyday. Sylvia was one of a kind and will leave us telling her stories for a long, long time.  My cousin Heather said it best, “…. maybe feeling well and making memories to the very end is life’s ideal path.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Looking back via grateful simplicity

Christmas 2016

I try to keep myself in check. I really do. Attempting to give our children 3 gifts, just like the three wise man carrying gift. Santa also brings three gifts (excluding books and clothing).  Either their mama can’t count, or my kid’s Christmas list have gotten more expensive over the years because they made out big time this year.  And by big time I mean they have had a lot of down time, slacked some on their chores, slept a little later than usual, oh yes- and had a great Christmas morning to wake up to.

I struggle with this a bit but try to remind myself that my husband and I do not buy much for them (relatively speaking) throughout the year. Britton will tell you, matter of factly, that she purchases most of her clothing, makeup and “wants” herself.  And darn it, they are good kids whose daddy loves to give them things he wasn’t able to have growing up. Isn’t that what parenthood is all about? Giving our kids the best life possible? Be it experiences, gift, education, or love?

Christmas Eve was celebrated with Mike’s mom and step-dad, “Gan,” at our house for lunch followed by Christmas Eve at our church where Kenley served as crucifer (acolyte). For the past 35 years we have gone after church to the Hanley’s house. We’ve missed this tradition only twice in 35 years– and one of those times was when my dad was dying. It’s just not Christmas Eve if not with our dear friends and family at the Hanley’s house. We missed my life-long friend MHH (aka Mary Heather Hanley— yes, her real name is Mary Heather Lines now but she will always be MHH to me) this year who had baby #3, Ellie Grace, just a few weeks ago so she was not able to fly cross country from Seattle this time. She gets a free pass this one time. Once.

After listening to Santa’s sleigh bells on the drive home, the kids open their one gift (Christmas pajamas) finding out which wrapping paper is theirs. They then all sleep together, have their Mama threaten them not come out of their rooms, and count the hours until 7 am Christmas morning when they’re told they can wake us up.

Oh Christmas 2016, we don’t want you to be over. I stand in protest by continuing to play ‘Contemporary Christian Holiday Radio’ on Pandora. Just ask Alexa.

Christmas morning

Christmas morning

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

Christmas eve pajamas for the kids (well, technically shark slippers for Raynes who has been able to wear the same Santa pajamas for three years strong now)

 

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

 

We then made the annual trip over to Sassy and Pops– a whole one mile drive– to see cousins and create chaos.

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

 

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

New braces for B. Merry Christmas, kid.

 

After opening gifts, but before afternoon naps, we drive the one mile back him before we return a second time for the ‘big’ family dinner at my parent’s house with Mr. Robinson’s parents, Meme, aunts, uncles, cousins, and three french hens.

 

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

Nana is doing great and has recently graduated from the wheelchair to the walker, and is a healthy weight now as well. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and having conversations (and laughter!) with them. They enjoy her company as well!

 

 

Roast beef. Need I say more?

Roast beef. Need I say more?

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

 

My Aunt Deborah's ticket into Christmas dinner. Her annual Yule Log. Goodness knows how long this takes to make, but it only comes once a year and it is well worth the extra 6 (plus!) lbs I know have to loose come January 1st.

My Aunt Deborah’s ticket into Christmas dinner. Her annual Yule Log. Goodness knows how long this takes to make, but it only comes once a year and it is well worth the extra 6 (plus!) lbs I know have to loose come January 1st.

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

My brother-in-law’s mother, Leslie, bakes the best Christmas cookies and decorates each and every one. My kids are lucky if I manage to make slice-n-bake cookies.

 

Not bad for almost 91 years young?! Her secret? Scotch tape on her brow every day. Think I'm kidding? Walk into her room any weekday and you will see what I mean.

Not bad for almost 91 years young?! Her secret? Scotch tape on her brow every day. Think I’m kidding? Walk into her room any weekday and you will see what I mean.

The Sisters. A proper noun.

The Sisters. A proper noun.

Christmas 2016 via grateful simplicity

Merry Christmas 2016 to you and yours!