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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday Meets Thankful Thursday - I Love You, Grandma

I've had a lot of dreams about my late grandmother recently.  They are very vivid, and the first thing I always do is grab her hand and hug and kiss her, because I'm always aware in the dream that she's no longer with us, and this is a rare opportunity.  I can feel her soft, cool skin in my hand and on my lips and her bony shoulders in my arms.  (She was average weight, but her shoulders were always strangely bony.)  She often looks back at me with a knowing look when I do this.  I'm never sad in the dreams, even though I recognize how much I've missed her and how I'll miss her again when I wake up.  (Of course, I'm bawling as I write this...)

I've been thinking about her more this Christmas than in Christmases past, and I don't know if that's feeding the dreams or if that's because of the dreams.  I just feel strangely connected to her right now.  Whatever the situation, I'm thankful to have these moments with her, in whatever form they come.

I love you, Grandma.




Sunday, December 18, 2011

30 Days of Thankful - Wrap up


We went on vacation, and I slacked off.  Then I brought home a souvenir of the microbial variety, and I just haven't been up to thinking.  Now that that's all in the past, let me ramble about everything for which I was thankful on vacation.

I am thankful for the excitement of first experiences.  Mikey got his first taste of rides at the state fair in October, but he got to go on some all by himself at Busch Gardens.  We couldn't get him out of there!  The poor thing cried at Disney every time someone went on a ride without him.  It's hard to be little.

My children never ceased to be fascinated by the Epcot ball
Ellie got her first taste of big-people rides...and she's hooked
Here they're headed to Splash Mountain, which is now her favorite ride

I am thankful for deepening passions.
Both kids are fascinated by space, so playing astronaut was a highlight of our trip

Ellie was too scared to feed the dolphins just a few months ago.  This time she couldn't have had enough fish to throw!
It's one thing to see wildlife that we've read about in books.  It's another thing to see that wildlife really does start out as a baby, just like us.
I'm thankful for the wonders of nature.

Beautiful Spanish moss

I'm thankful for play.
Waiting in line for Winnie the Pooh
Finally, I'm thankful for childlike enthusiasm.  My children were so excited to see their favorite characters in person.  We met June and Handy Manny at breakfast, Ellie and I searched for Mickey and Pooh, we waited patiently (yes, really!) for Woody and Buzz, and Mikey found every Christmas tree in Florida.  (Okay, that's a slight exaggeration.)  Ellie learned the difference between Mickey and Minnie (and has a new favorite character), and Mikey learned there are characters other than Mickey, Pooh and Elmo.  Both kids ran excitedly up to, well, pretty much everything.  They were thrilled to meet Santa Shamu.  I was a little disappointed to be unable to ride most of the rides, but seeing our trip through my kids' eyes made it so exciting I almost forgot about the rides.  Almost.