A few weeks ago, we took one of the most amazing trips. We were invited to the beautiful WISP resort in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. It was wonderful. The first day, the kids enrolled in ski school to try skiing for the first time ever. They. LOVED. it. It was cold, windy and so snowy, and the kids loved every second of it. It was a blast to get to see them learn. That’s Anna under there…Cate…The second day we went on a gorgeous hike through snow covered trails. Then, sled-riding!My pops and I waited at the end of the bunny hill most of the day and had a blast watching the kids come down again and again. Sled-riding day…There were lots of things that made this little mini-vacation great…watching the kids do something new, getting ‘away’ for a bit, spending time with my family, time spent talking with our amazing hosts, drinking a beer by the fire in the snow, that gorgeous hike…but most of all I left feeling like I was fully present all weekend. I was just there. In the moment. And it was refreshing and such a great reminder for me. This was the kids first real sighting of snow this winter…they couldn’t get enough of it!Epic snowball fight…Loved, loved, loved this weekend so much and can’t begin to thank our amazing hosts for their generosity and for being so darn fun. ♥
basketball team pics…our guys…missing nana
sisters…a friend who made my day…sister sillies
grown-up date night…fashion show…late night snack
this looks like a great idea…shark hat…skaters
skate date…pretty girls…puppy game
love these three…sister love…homework
tower game…sooooo high!!…game day
the boys…number 15…gorgeous sunset
christmas gift…annie!…date night
corey and his girls…mama and girls…CLE
we sing annie a lot now…oops, girls in CLE…kids in my class
cheers to chelle…its as big as her head…sunday morningsfun at home depot…silly girl…daddy’s “helpers”
I’ve gotten away from such personal posts, but since we use these pages as a kind of ‘family yearbook’, I thought this one needed some attention. We lost my Pap, my Mother’s Dad, this past weekend and writing about such loss is always cathartic for me.
Feel free to read, or maybe just look at the memories captured in photos. We’ll sure miss this man in our family.
February 6, 2016
Dear Cathryn, Anna and William,
Today we lost the patriarch of our family. Your Pappy was great man who was quite a dynamic presence in our family. He loved you all so very much and watching him soften in your presence was beautiful and remarkable to watch.
When I was a kid, I always knew that he loved me. I took great delight in hearing those words, “I love you”, from him in his older years. I have so many memories with Pap, so many moments big and small. I loved riding on the back of his motorcycle with him in Pennsylvania, and especially loved that he never allowed my cousins, Uncle Jake and I, to be in trouble for getting dirty while playing outside at Granny’s house.
Pap was always quick with a joke and liked to laugh. He always told it exactly as it was and was famous for his many one-liners (Pap-isms). At Christmas, he was the best at building anticipation for Christmas Eve and loved to watch as we tore into our gifts. Pap was a generous man. He was always willing to give anyone, anything. You never left Pap’s house without bringing something back home with you. He was a gatherer. Whatever fruit was in season, you can bet that Pap was the first person to pick, buy, gather and distribute to his family.
Looking back now, loud family gatherings and holidays surrounded by Aunts, Uncles and cousins were all possible because of Pap and Gram. I am forever grateful for these joyful childhood memories.
On Thursday, as I sat with Pap and witnessed him in his predeath state and listened to his incoherent talking, I was amazed at where his mind took him. I think we all believe that he was taking a journey through the highlights of his life. I watched him “open” and “drink” a beer (my cousins, Uncle Jake and I used to fight to bring Pap a beer), and watched him “pick” blueberries too (picking blueberries with Pap was his most favorite thing to do with you three. It always involved tons of blueberries, breakfast and a stop for fresh corn on the cob for dinner). These are memories to hold in our hearts forever.
I wonder, if at the end of our lives if we ‘replay’ the highlights, what will they be? I know for me, the three of you and Daddy will be some of mine. But how wondrous to think that my highlights may include grandchildren and great-grandchildren that have yet to step foot on this Earth!
Sweet babies of mine…I want you to never forget that kind words and big hugs are never forgotten. That time spent with family, and your time spent with Pap and Gram was always time well spent. Pap loved us all and you will always carry a piece of him with you in your hearts, and your memories. I will be forever grateful that you got to know the man who will always be my Pappy.
sicky-poo, “i train ninjas”…first snow
beauty…2nd grade star…music program
family tree selfie…tree ‘cutting’…that’s the one
nutcracker play…death of a nutcracker…will’s turn
in all her glory…this is christmas…painting class
elf shop gifts…good lookin kids…love these three
mama and kids…grandma and kids…the palace
mama and me at nutcracker…piano recital…talented kids
anna…cate…will’s kinder program
cheering section…our little guy…lunch selfie
i love love love the LIGHT at christmas…last day…daddy’s girlscookie day…icing…hope santa likes sprinkles
bubble boy…lots of fun…christmas eve bike ride
christmas eve family…my love…christmas eve at grandmas
will’s pretty lisa…cousins…cousins-mini
our gram…cookies out for santa…christmas morning
torture tradition…waiting…come on!!
santa came…love this time…happy girl
happy…beautiful mess…cousins at nanas
lucky kids…star wars…play time
AG kind of xmas…christmas day play…corey’s christmas ham
christmas sunset…love…great end to the day
anniversary…like peas and carrots…happy kid
new years…slefies…the boys
the girls…the gang…the grown-ups
10 years old. Daily, this beauty’s father and I look at her in awe. She is kind, funny, sweet and smart. She is all that we could have ever hoped for and more. Though we have a hard time wrapping our minds around the fact that our baby girl is 10, we couldn’t be more thrilled with getting to experience every phase of this wonderful life alongside her.
For her birthday, she wanted go back to her city of birth, Cincinnati! There are lots of iphone pics of that sweet trip here. We have so many people who helped us celebrate this double-digit birthday, and we are so very grateful to you all.
It took us a while to think of the most fitting 10-year-old-photo-shoot-idea, but once we did…it was perfection. Cate loves anything to do with fashion and shopping. She is always putting together cute outfits and loves to accessorize. 🙂 So, birthday photos could only be one place…the mall!
My fave ♥Cate and I had a blast with this shoot. And she was so brave modeling in the middle of a crowded mall. Happy birthday, baby. We love you so.