Saturday, February 27, 2016

first birthday

 There was a big party at Dan and Alicia's for this baby girl, turning one.

 There was this giant pink cake and two excited brothers.  The younger brother was up at 6 am, went and woke up his mom to tell her about the party decorations he discovered in the morning.

The ones she put up late last night?  Yep.

You, darling child.  A year ago you were a sober little newborn with eyes like jewels, sapphires in that tiny, serious face.

Now?  A full participant in everything.  Someone commented on you today, how cute you are.  I agreed, "Yeah, she is cute, and she's a very sweet person."

And then I thought, how could I know that about you in only one year?

It's true.  You are.

Observant and funny, wonderful full body hugs tight around the neck, a kid who would sit in the high chair all day sampling snacks and watching the crowd, and I just love you like crazy.

How much I look forward to watching you grow.

Pure delight.

Happy Birthday, Darling, love, Grandma and Grandpa and Everybody

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


 Maria went for a long weekend to visit Kirby.

They had a good time, from what I hear.  I love the pictures.  Florida is beautiful.

Back in Minneapolis, it's warm and dark, muddy, days getting longer.

 This baby is walking, and these two are mud monsters, constantly outside, requiring towels and stompy boots.

Yes, she's wearing shorts.  I called out the door to her about it and she said she was fine.  The shirt says, "Softball," across the front, and yesterday when she came in, she was carrying something, and I teased her, "Your shirt says softball!  I thought it said Squirrel, starting with an S and ending with an L."

She didn't say anything, just hugged me.

Florida, you did not disappoint and it's almost March.

love forever, Val

Sunday, February 21, 2016

muddy sunday

 It's another dark, warm, rainy day.

 James' room is coming back together.  The condition of the green paint was questionable, but then I saw the label--it was from September, 2009.  Yeah, that's going to be sketchy.

 It looks okay though, and I really didn't want to re-paint the entire room.  The ceiling, sure, fine. But this will be okay.

And that's the end of that, a lovely quiet weekend, a new listing going on the market next week, and March is right upon us.

love, Val

Thursday, February 18, 2016

thursday squirrels

 Today feels like a Friday, don't know why.

I think it's the dark, warm day, feels full of possibilities and the very March slant the light seems to have this week.

The end is in sight, in other words.

Yesterday was our 37th anniversary, pleasant and ordinary, just a usual Wednesday.

 The little girl is wearing a fancy coat that she's almost outgrown, and after school she changed directly back into her pajamas.

It's okay.
 This morning as she went skipping, literally skipping into her preschool, wearing a cute dress, leggings that didn't exactly match, although they didn't NOT match, that colorful coat, colorful tennis shoes, swinging her bucket and singing to herself, I had the wish that we could stop it right here.

Not her, not time, but this: the confidence and the contentment.  Something happens to us between skipping in a snowy parking lot in clothes we picked out ourselves, and the getting grown up, and it's kind of regrettable.
 Another person I love got in trouble at school yesterday over something extremely minor and the reaction to it did not fit the crime, and it has nothing to do with the child and everything to do with institutions that are opposite of the nature of squirrels.
 Upside down in pajamas in the snow, using bad language, those kind of people.

Who all grow up to be educated, accomplished, civilized and kind.   And astute. And funny.

The kind of people you know have your back, people you can trust.

 No worries. None. Not a single one.  Just love.

Love, Val, aka GRANDMA, aka Mom

Monday, February 15, 2016

a wild winter monday

 We had a bunch of kids here, going nuts in the house.  It's got a little edge of spring fever to it already.

 Jay started working on the plaster in James' room yesterday.  He works fast.  Already it's looking improved and under control.

Then I wandered to Kari's room. She's rearranging furniture and doing things in her room. We took the giant braided rug out of there yesterday, put it in the family room for now.

 These are figurines I bought at garage sales when I was a kid. That squirrel?

Great choice, don't you think?

The curly haired doll in the background was made by a plumbing customer.  Jay went to a job the day after Kari was born and he told her about our new baby and she left while he was working and brought back a doll she'd made for our baby.

This happens to be the ring bearer pillow from John and Dannell's wedding  Nice touch with the dude tucked in the lace.

 A baby wrangling ballerina:

 The bulbs I bought to help hurry spring along? They're already blooming.

And that's the end of that, a fine fast-moving Monday.

Love forever, Val