Posts Tagged ‘family’

A Goodbye For Grandma

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

My 91 year old Grandma passed away recently, and I just wanted to share with you what I read at her memorial service last weekend.  She was an amazing woman and I miss her every day.

A Goodbye For Grandma

One of my first memories of memories of my grandma was when I was about 8 years old.  I was at her house spending the night because we had to get up early the next morning for a super special trip – our trip to Florida.  She took my brother, Devon, to visit my Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Ray the previous summer but this year, she said, was my turn.

I waited all year for this trip.  And Grandma had been filling my head for months with all the adventures the two of us would have together.  She said we were going to do magical things I had never done before, like go to Disney World and meet Micky Mouse, go swimming at the beach where we would dig in the sand and find seashells, and she promised to take me to a place called Sea World, where someone named Shamoo would fly high in the air and do tricks.  I didn’t know who Shamoo was, but I knew if my grandma said it was going to be cool – it was going to be cool.

“But before the adventure begins,” she whispered to me the day before we were to leave, “I have something for you.”

And with that, she revealed a small, red suitcase.  It was exactly my size!

“Grandma,” I said while jumping up and down, “this is so awesome!  I’m going to pack all my stuff in here and take it on our trip together! Thank you!”

You see, I was raised with a lot of love, but not a lot of money, so any present – even a suitcase – was exciting.

“The suitcase,” Grandma giggled, “is only part of your present.  Unzip it and look inside.”

I did as I was told and I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Inside the red suitcase that was exactly my size, were treasures – lots of them.  I discovered a baby doll that wet when you fed her, and a blanket with little flowers that I could wrap her in when she got cold, but the best part – the clothes.

Grandma reached in a pulled out two pairs of shorts and two tops that matched – not to mention the cutest dress I’d ever seen.

“Look,” she said smiling, “can you read what the label says?”

“Made especially for you.  From, Grandma,” I whispered.

My grandma had sewn those clothes just for me – just for our trip – together.  And I felt special.

And she made me feel like that my whole life – special.

She would invite me over to spend the night at her house when I was a kid and she would let me eat Cheetos, drink 7up, and play UNO way past my bed time.

I went with her to K-Mart one time when she somehow found out about a secret shipment of Cabbage Patch dolls that were about to be delivered, and I literally witnessed my grandma body slam another woman so she could buy me one.  It was the 80s people – a Cabbage Patch doll was better than gold in those days.

She would sew me and my mom matching dresses.  And when I was a little girl, there was no one in the world I wanted to dress like more than my mom.  And my grandma made it happen.

And for family holiday dinners, she would make a banana desert topped with pudding and peanuts.  And every time, she would save some of the pudding in a dish just for me because she knew I loved it.

Since both my parents worked full time, I looked for her every day to pick  me and my younger brother up from school, and it never failed – her car was always the first one in the parking lot.

For Halloween, she aways gave me and my brothers lots of candy, and not the small sized candy most kids get when they trick or treat – the regular sized candy adults eat.  And we loved her for that.

When I was in college, she would invite me over once a week for a home cooked meal and we would sit at the kitchen table and talk for hours about the times when she was a little girl on the farm with her 11 brothers and sisters.  She said her sister, Lucille, was the brains behind all the wild schemes the pair pulled on their parents.  But even to this day, I think my grandma was more a part of that dynamic duo than she ever admitted.

And later, when I moved away and started my own career and my own family – I loved that Grandma and I kept our relationship strong with handwritten letters.  I have years of correspondence with my grandma that I treasure.  And every letter ends with, “Keep sweet and I love you.”

And I just want you all to know – I plan on keeping sweet.  And I love her too, so much.

My grandma and her family in 1969. My grandma is in the green dress and my mom is the teenager on the left in red.  Don’t you love her cat eye glasses?

Visions of Tablescapes Danced in my Head

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

When I offered to host Christmas Eve dinner at our house this year, visions of tablescapes started dancing in my head.  And after scouring many home decor magazine and websites, I decided on the crisp color combination of red, white, and silver. 

I started with a freshly pressed white tablecloth, a  glittery red ribbon, and silver votive candles.  And got more and more giddy after adding square vases filled with small crimson ornaments and pretty folded napkins.  Mini red tricycles adorned with the boys’ names told them what seat to take and I placed the homemade cookie Christmas trees on the buffet next to the red floral balls on white candlesticks.

It was a lovely and intimate dinner of 8 including my mom, David’s parents, his brother, Reichen, Latham, David, and myself.  We had all the fixings of a traditional turkey dinner and every bite of it was delicious.

My Thanksgiving Post May Be Late, But At Least My Christmas Shopping is Done.

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We sure did and I still have the belly to prove it.  We invaded my in-laws for the holidays and had the best time.  My mother-in-law cooked 90% of the food, but I did make my grandma’s super duper delicious candied yams. 

And here’s the recipe:

Candied Yams

Peel 3 large yams, and cut into pieces.  Place in pan with salted water and boil until cooked.  Place cut up yams in baking dish.  Sprinkle with 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 stick of butter cut up, 1 can of evaporated condensed milk.  Fill baking dish approximately 1/2 full.  Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees until mixture boils down.  Add marshmallows on top and bake until marshmallows brown and melt.

Toddler Talk

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Reichen:  “Mommy, I didn’t know you used to be fat.  Granddad is fat.  You look just like granddad when you were fat.”

What my 4-year-old said when he saw a picture of me 7 1/2 months pregnant.

A Song For Baby’s Brother

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

The slides were wet when we went to the park to play.  And they hate wet slides.

“Mommy,” my two boys beg, “can you wipe them off?”

I sigh.  They must be the only boys in the world who hate to get wet, I think.  Luckily, I packed a picnic.  And with it, paper towels.  A lot of them.

“There you go,”  I say after swiping the equipment dry.  “They’re safe.”

I watch as they scream and scamper off to swirl down the slides.  It’s so easy to make them happy.  And I love that.

I pop on my sunglasses and watch through the lenses as they laugh, and play, and run, and sway.

My mom is in town.  She watches them too from behind her camera.  She’s capturing memories for her return home.  She doesn’t get to see us as much as she likes.  But she’s here now.  And we’re soaking her up.

She grabs their hands and runs with them as they take her on their next adventure.  They need rocks they say.  Lots of rocks. 

My mom and I watch from the picnic bench as they grab handful, after handful, after handful of rocks.  The pebbles, they inform us in their broken and perfect toddler talk, have a purpose.

“Mommy,” Reichen whispers. “I’m making a cake for Baby’s brother.”

‘Baby’ is my four-year-old’s stuffed lambie he’s slept with every night since he was born.    ‘Baby’s brother’ is the name given to his new stuffed lambie from the Easter Bunny.

“Wait here,” he instructs us.  “I’ll be right back.”

He returns with a sick and places it carefully in the middle of his pile of pebbles.

“This,” he whispers, “is Baby’s brother’s candle.”

He stops.  And thinks.  And asks, “Can we sing Happy Birthday to Baby’s brother?”

And so we do.  All four of us.  And I laugh.

It’s so easy to make me happy.  And I love that.

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

The First Day of Preschool

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

It’s your first day of school and you’re so excited to get there.

You jump into your jeans and try to comb your own hair.

 

Blueberry yogurt is for breakfast, but you barely take a bite.

And forget about the toast – you won’t eat it without a fight.

 

So you hop in the car followed by your dad, brother, and me.

It’s a really special day and we want to celebrate as a family.

 

The new friends you’re about to make is what we discuss during the drive.

And you say you’re going to wear your backpack as soon as we arrive.

 

Ms. Joy is your teacher and she welcomes you with a smile.

She says, “This is your cubby – it’s the one right here on the aisle.”

 

You tell her you’re excited to start preschool today.

And two seconds later, you dismiss us with a quick wave.

 

“See you in a couple hours,” I say as I give you a big hug.

And as you give me a kiss Ms. Joy says, “Please, sit on the rug.”

 

And suddenly, the door closes and you’re off on a new adventure.

I’m so proud of you Reichen, it’s a memory I’ll always treasure.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

The Letter From Christmas 2002

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Before I had two toddlers, I actually had time to do stuff such as sleep more than 5 hours a night and eat without standing up at the kitchen island.  I also had time to write incredible witty Christmas letters to my friends and family every holiday season including this one from 2002.  I hope you like it.  Happy Holidays!

Dear Family and Friends,

Thanksgiving has come and gone, Christmas is right around the corner, and already I feel as if I’m missing the boat, the train or whatever it is you miss when you’re not in gear and you realize the holidays are quickly passing you by.

I’ve done no shopping, baked no cookies, sent no cards, trimmed no tree.  What I have done, however, is buy wrapping paper.  Miles and miles of wrapping paper.

Remember mothers hawking Girl Scout cookies?  Well, America’s mothers are out there with new merchandise:  gift wrap.

It used to be you feared the cookie-toting Girl Scouts, although I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an actual Girl Scout toting cookies.  In truth, it is the Girl Scout’s mother you fear as she patrols the office aisles, her sign-up list on a trusty clipboard, her pitch draconian.

“And how many Thin Mints for you?” she’d ask. Anything less than a two-box order was deemed unacceptable, possibly un-American. In the interest of world peace, you bought three.

Today, it’s three rolls of wrapping paper or else — wrapping paper made by some woman named Sally Foster.

But like the elusive Girl Scout, I have never seen an actual “student” peddling paper either. No cute first-grader has ever appeared at my door, asking whether I’d like to buy some “whapping paper.”

So now, I have rolls of Berry Merry.

I have Arctic Friends.

I have Everything Christmas and Golden Swirls.  I also bought another roll of Golden Swirl. On red this time, not blue. Before long I’m sure I’ll branch out into Hanukkah paper.

If only I had something to wrap.

If only that Girl Scout mother would come around again. At least I
could eat the Thin Mints.

Wrapping paper, I suspect, is more an acquired taste.

David and I wish you all a Happy Holidays.

Tasha and David

A Picture Perfect Day

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Josh and Jenny, the dynamic duo from Solar Photographers, have done it again.  I just love how the talented and charismatic couple captures my 3 stinky boys and me in such a fun way no other photographer can.  Here’s a peek at a few of my favorites from our photo shoot a couple weeks ago.  Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

From our family to yours,

Happy Thanksgiving!

And if you’re looking for a super fun project to do with the kids today, you’ve got to try this Candy Corn Turkey.  Reichen and Latham loved making them!

Candy Corn Turkey

Ingredients:

1. Ritz Crackers

2.  Icing

3.  Candy Corn

4.  Caramel Squares

5.  Hershey Kiss

Directions:

1.  Take 1 Ritz Cracker and spread icing all over it.

2.  Place 1 Hershey Kiss in the middle of the cracker.  The Kiss makes the body of the turkey.

3.  Take 4 or 5 Candy Corns and place them around the top half of the cracker.  The Candy Corns make the feathers.

4.  Spread icing on one side of a Caramel Square and place it on the base of the undecorated side of the Ritz Cracker.  The Caramel Square holds the Ritz Cracker upright.

5.  Place a dab of icing on the end of 1 Candy Corn and attach it to the peak of the Hershey Kiss.  The Candy Corn makes the turkey’s beak.

 

 

The One About Our Trip To NYC

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Did I mention to you that we just took a vacation?

We had so much fun traveling across our great nation.

 

We dropped the boys at their Grandma’s and then we flew off.

And spent four nights and five days in a New York City loft.

 

We visited my brother, David’s brother, and my dad was there too.

We saw a musical, went shopping, and I lost my breath viewing a statue.

 

We then hopped on a bus that showed us the city’s sites.

Including a tall building that made me afraid of heights.

 

We went to Little Italy, China Town, and visited Times Square.

We took cabs, rode the subway, and had the best time, I swear.

 

Now that we’re home, I feel refreshed and brand new.

So sit back, relax, I’d like to share a few photos with you.

1.    David on the ferry to Ellis Island.

2.    Tasha on the ferry to Ellis Island.

3.    The view from the top of the Empire State Building.

4.    The Statue of Liberty.

5.    Construction at Ground Zero.

6.    My Dad and me on the tour bus.

7.    David and his brother.

8.    Tasha having lunch at The Spotted Pig.

9.    The Spotted Pig Restaurant.

10.  David riding the tour bus.

11.   My brother, his daughter, and me.

12.   David and his brother at The Spotted Pig.

 

 

We’re on Vacation, My Family and Me

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

We’re on vacation, my family and me

Having so much fun, as much fun as can be.

 

I thought I could blog while traveling with my boys

But there’s been no time, not to mention the noise.

 

Family and friends are keeping me busy

That’s how it is, and I hope you’ll forgive me.

 

After Thanksgiving, I’ll be back – don’t worry a bit

Eat lots of turkey and I’ll return lickity split.