Hunting season eve


Well, it’s the evening before gun hunting here in Wisconsin.  Hunting is such an important part of my family’s life. The men in my immediate family prefer bow hunting over gun hunting by far, but there is something intriguing about this time of year.

 
Every year, religiously, I make “Papas chili”. Years ago when my husband was a child his dad made his special chili every hunting season and kept it in a huge metal pot warming on the space heater stove at the cabin. Some amazing memories were made there.

 
Once Mark and I started dating I got to partake in the tradition. To be totally honest I never cared for that chili. Mostly because they made it with venison😷. I didn’t grow up on venison so I didn’t care for it. Who knew I would soon grow to love it (made with beef of course) & actually crave it?!

 
Once we had kids we started bringing them to the cabin for lunch during hunting season. Papas chili was a hit. It was there that my son Austin would proudly wear his blaze orange that was adorned with his dad’s previous years back tags. He had quite a collection. He would stand next to the railing on the deck barely able to see over it resting his chin on his crossed arms just dreaming of the day he’d be big enough to go hunting himself.

My daughter Sam would also come to the cabin and sometimes bring her friends. They would sport the very fashionable plastic blaze orange vests and caps. I don’t think hunting was on her mind as much as just getting to the cabin to have fun.  Although she did prove to be quite the shooter once she decided she wanted to hunt. I say shooter, not hunter because she didn’t care to sit long and it rarely took more than an hour or so before her deer came in and she dropped it right in its tracks.

Opening day was and still is exciting to me. As soon as the guys would leave to go to the woods I would crack open the window a bit, no matter how cold-and sit with my coffee and just wait to hear the first gunshots. It was always very hard to tell which direction they came from. I’m directionally challenged the way it is and echoes didn’t help. But I always knew if it was coming from one of my family on our property. Then I would hear the four wheeler engine coming through the woods. I knew someone got one then!

 
To this day on opening day I still patiently wait and listen. It can be very bittersweet because now it is just myself and my husband . My kids are grown and on their own. They each go in their own direction and I still worry about them and their safety. Not everyone is careful out there. Not everyone was taught right from wrong. Not everyone was educated to do the right thing. Not everyone plays safe. But in the end I trust that all will be fine.

 
I await the day when our grandson Connor may be the little one excited to go hunting, or maybe he won’t want anything to do with it. He’s an animal lover for sure, but also a growing boy that could sure help provide for his family someday.

 
At any rate, I pray each hunter is safe and that there is a hedge of protection around each one.  Happy hunting!

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Happy birthday Mom! 🎈


Happy birthday Mom! 🎉To the woman who always puts everyone’s needs ahead of her own. Some call that enabling. I say there are far worse things. I will justify my enabling to the very end, whether it is right or wrong. The apple doesn’t fall far. There’s nothing I won’t do for my family and I had to learn that someplace. I didn’t learn to be selfish, I learned to take care of people. I enjoy taking care of people,  I think she does too. Maybe the biggest downfall is continuing to do so while occasionally getting taken advantage of. But we press on and the next time someone wants or needs something we’re there.

 
My mom is the first one to bring yummy baked goods to any and every occasion/non-occasion. She loves to bake, is truly amazing at it and loves to just drop off goodies for no special reason at all. I truly believe this will be part of her legacy. Her love comes through in her baking. God sure has blessed her to be an amazing baker! People aren’t kidding when they say people love through food.

 
My mom will do anything for anyone. She really does have a big heart, although she doesn’t share it freely. There’s a tough outer layer that must be broken through first. She’s usually the first on the scene for urgent matters, and the one who sticks it out for the long haul and sees things through til they are finished. She may not always show that emotional, soft side-but trust me, it’s there. Being a grandma has softened her.

 
I may not always act like it or say it as much as I should but I am very thankful for her. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to learn so much from her through good and hard times. Ive been taught some pretty great life skills, and hard times taught me that we all have times when we could do better and to never stop trying to do just that.

 
My mom taught me at a young age to be hospitable, maybe not even through telling me but showing me.  To help clear the table at family functions and help with dishes even the other kids (even some adults) would run off.
She taught me that yes, chips and dip & Coke make perfectly suitable meals when you’re having a bachelorette weekend.

 
She taught me the wealth of knowing how to take anything in your kitchen and turn it into a meal. So now I’m known from my hubby as the woman who could feed 50 with a potato and a hot dog.

 
It’s my dream and goal of mine to be able to take my mom on a vacation someday. A vacation where we actually have to get on a plane and leave town. She will never do that for herself. To a place where she can feel what it’s like to just let loose and have fun.

 
She taught me last but not least, that no matter what hand life deals you, to put on whatever face you need to & you will make it. There’s ups and downs all along the way but you–will–make it. That the good far outweighs the bad. So here’s to you Mom! Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day! 💞

✌🏻

Moments time stood still

Have you ever had things happen in your life that took your breath away? That seemed as though time stood still? Here is a list of some of the things throughout my life where time actually seemed to stop…for even just a brief second that seemed like a thousand years. The times where you always remember where you were when it happened. Where the whole room became silent as if you were the only ones there. In no particular order:

*Seeing my daughters big bright eyes open moments after giving birth to her, looking around,so alert.  Did I just create this beautiful little girl?

*The final push I gave when having Austin. The last push I didn’t think I had in me. Hearing the Dr say, “One more and you’ve got it.” Hearing Mark say “I know you can do this Mis-”

*Hearing my daughter in excruciating pain as she was giving birth to her own baby. Knowing this was one of those moments I couldn’t just rush in and hug her and reassure her it was going to be okay.

*Seeing my grandson Connor for the first time, eyes open laying on his moms chest…my grandson-to finally meet the boy I fell so in love with before I even knew him.

*Finding out I was going to have a baby for the first time. In that split second when I saw the pregnancy test results a flood of emotions from “Oh no!” To “Really?” To “How am I gonna do this?” To “What is Mark gonna think?” To “Wow…really?” All of those emotions seems to flood in at the same exact moment.

*Finding out I lost a baby.

*Finding out God blessed me with another baby on the way.

*Having a procedure done in a Drs office where I almost bled to death. The dr wouldn’t let me call my husband and told me to drive home and take Tylenol. We didn’t have cell phones then. So I listened to him and thankfully I made it. As he hit an artery and I almost passed out from extreme blood loss I saw the room go dark and thought my time had come. What an asshole that dr was!

*Watching my son get wheeled off to have shoulder surgery. There’s nothing like hugging him and seeing him go. I knew he’d be okay but when you see fear in your child’s eyes and can’t do a thing to fix it, it is really hard. Watching him get wheeled off seemed like it took an eternity.

*My first kiss. We played a stupid game where we had to look at each other straight in the eye and whoever looked away first had to kiss the other one. How stupid. I lost,but also didn’t make the first move. Not aggressive that way. Haha

*Seeing who would someday be my future husband for the first time. I was roller skating with a friend and he wheeled by and man did I think he was cute! Who knew? 😉

*The first time my future husband kissed me. I won’t forget. Once again we were roller skating. (it was THEE place to be) I was skating along and he wheeled up in front of me, very cool just turned himself around so he was skating backward so he was facing me- and said “I’m gonna kiss you now.” And he did. And off he went. 😍

*Writing my name with my future husbands last name on everything I owned. Who doesn’t do that?  Don’t say you haven’t done that!

*Hearing my grandma had breast cancer. There are no words when someone you love so much gets news like that. I remember calling her the night before her mastectomy and making sure she knew God and loved Him. I seriously thought she might die in that surgery and I needed to know where she stood.

*Phone calls in the middle of the night from my sister. They were never pleasant. Always scared the day lights out of me. I always regretted those calls but was always glad she called me and I was there.

*Finding out I was going to be a grandma. Numerous times. There is no greater joy than that of a baby. Especially when your babies are having babies.

*Hearing my son for the first time ever be sooo excited about this new girl he met. He brought her to meet us and they really clicked. I remember going to bed that night whispering to my husband “I like her…” And he said “I do too…” I remember calling my daughter saying, “she fits right in, like she’s been here forever.” He’s had other girlfriends but none has he ever spoke so intently about. At the time I thought to myself  “We will see, at first they ALL seem to be ‘the one’…” But hearing him so excited, as never before made me stop and think about his future for a moment and what it  might bring. Now I know that she completes him, and they are getting married!

*Getting life changing news

*Dealing with losses from both my children. There is nothing worse than the calls or messages saying that my children have lost a child. Each and every time my heart felt as though it stopped. I dropped to the ground. I dropped my phone. There’s nothing worse than that feeling of helplessness and that you can’t do a single thing to fix this.

I’m certain there are many more things that made time stand still. These are just a few highlights. The ones that came to mind instantly. I cherish all of them good or bad. They’ve strengthened me. Appreciate everything you go through. They truly all have a purpose.

✌️

Christmas~Family~Legacies

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Absolutely one of my favorite times of the year. There’s really something magical about Christmas! (When things are going well that is….my blog from last years Christmas was not as happy!) I just love throwing on some Kenny G and digging Christmas decorations out. Just makes me mellow.

I used to love when the kids would line up all their ornaments on the floor, reminiscing about each one. I went through various stages at Christmastime as we became empty nesters. Our first year here as empty nesters I cried doing all this because I still had my sons ornaments (our daughter had been on her own for a few years and had all hers-although the first year I put the tree up without hers was equally as hard!). I remember thinking back to each one remembering details of why they got the ornament they did that year. So I cried. The second year here my son now had his ornaments, so I was a bit more used to it but the kids weren’t getting along and that made me mad…I didn’t have the Christmas spirit- I was bitter and angry and actually took the tree down before Christmas even came! So I cried. This third year here I started thinking about putting the tree up so I sent my son a message telling him if he felt like he was missing out on Kenny G and me bawling my head off he was welcome to come up for the day! Haha ! Well little did I know he decided to come up and help me put up and decorate the tree!  He and his fiancé! I know he could have been doing a ton of other things and I know just the thought of Kenny G makes his ears bleed but he was a trooper! I appreciated that so much! The gift of time is a precious thing!

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This was our grandsons first Christmas. It was so fun! He’s at a very fun stage right now where his mind is so curious and he’s so active. As all kids he could have cared less about his gifts and more so loved the paper. His obsession right now is cell phones, laptop cords, all the things he is not supposed to have. He is perfect, and so much fun! He also got his first haircut (at 6 mos old)and has just recently started eating solid food. He enjoyed some morning playtime with Uncle Austin and loves when he hears Auntie Allyshas voice! He was a bit taken with her this weekend! Let me thank my beautiful daughter and son in law, without who we would not have this beautiful bundle of joy!  

     

    This was our first year hosting Christmas with my side of the family and had a great turnout. A few families could not make it and they certainly were missed, but we still ended up with about 22. Lots of food, lots of fun! Games and outdoor play for the kids, fellowship and cameraderie for the adults.

img_0689 It was great to spend time with family, especially my Gram who will be turning 90. Still full of spit and vinegar now more than ever! We had lots of fun doing selfies with Gram!  image

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My niece was born on Christmas Day so I always feel bad for her having to celebrate both at the same time. Although my daughter phrased it perfectly- “You are so special that God chose you to share the same birthday with His Son.” I like to try to keep things separate for her and make it as special as I can. She got an amazing new flat iron from Sam and Jordon and a girly goodie basket and things from us. We took her out for dinner and they gave her an Oreo ice cream drink. I was very thankful to have some time with her! She always puts others ahead of herself, would rather give than receive, and it was great to spoil her a bit and make it about only her!          The weekend ended with all of us in the man cave playing cards and just hanging out! Absolutely LOVE weekends like this!

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I am very thankful to be able to spend as much time with my family as I do. You hope you make a difference in their lives when you see them and that you are creating a legacy that they will remember throughout their lives.  It makes my heart happy to spend time with them, to see them making it, making good choices, living happy lives, doing the right things regardless of their circumstances.  My husband reassured and told me this weekend as I got emotional over so many things that I was seeing the fruits of my labor in action this weekend, that living by example is such a profound thing. That there is always someone watching how you live, how you choose to deal.

I am so blessed! I hope you all had a great Christmas and that it carries into the new year!

✌🏻

*side note* Allysha LOVED her new selfie stick! 😜

Thanksgiving 2015

Happy belated Thansgiving!  It was yet another perfect day for our family! Great food & camaraderie.

Our daughter Sam and her husband hosted Thanksgiving  this year at their house. It was a special one as it was our grandson Connors first Thanksgiving.   What a cutie, huh?

We had sooo much food! Everything was so good! Everyone brought a dish to pass to help out. We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, buns, stuffing, pumpkin, pecan and apple pie. Needless to say naps followed.   

 It’s such a great time of year. A time for family, traditions and making memories.   It’s always fun to get together. Our son is engaged, our daughter and her husband still pretty newly married, and always fun to see how everyones families celebrate. Even though we seem to do the same things it’s nice to have that routine. It’s nice to show what is important to our family and what we hold dear. From preparing the meals, to watching the men with their full bellies meander to the living room while the ladies clean up and have great conversations there also. Not that it’s just a woman’s place to be in the kitchen & a mans on the couch– haha! Call me old fashioned, I just enjoy the cameraderie amongst the girls. We hope that we leave a legacy of just wanting to be together through life’s events.  It’s our greatest wish that family would be priority to all, no matter the event. 

I’m so blessed and trying super hard to incorporate that thankful feeling all year long. I have so much to be thankful for…we all do. It’s so much more than just a day. 

🍂🍁🍂

The fab five- Blessed beyond measure!

I am blessed!

Recently my daughter had a baby-Connor Isaac. He is a perfect little boy! The addition of him to our family has an added blessing. He was the little puzzle piece to complete five living generations!  

 We recently got together for a family picnic to celebrate my Uncle Larrys birthday and just celebrate family itself.  He lives in Arizona and was here visiting for the week so we all got together and had great food, a great visit and great cameraderie. Although he  lives far away I do think of him often and don’t forget the role he played in my life as I grew up! While there we took advantage of getting a five generation picture taken! None of us are guaranteed tomorrow so we took advantage of the time that we DO have. This crazy family of mine—uncle Jim(Red Dog- who tells the most hilarious jokes ever), uncle Larry (Pinky-who helped raise me)…aunt Patty(pretty Patty-she would threaten to spank ya if you didn’t call her that!) My Mom(did she have a nickname? And who wasn’t always dealt the best cards but did her best with what she had)and Gram (best Gram ever) & Gramp.(who secretly reminds me of Horace from 101 dalmations😂) Tell me you don’t see that- Hahahah 

Let me tell you about my little Gram! This lady has more spunk and is more fun, funny than anyone I know! She has been such a special part of my entire life! I’ve been with her since my birth! She’s been there for me ever since! We have a bond like no other. She is truly one of a kind and the sad day she decides to go will be a day I go into hiding. That is a day I’m not prepared for at all. People better just let me be when that day comes because it will be by far the hardest thing I will endure in my life! So for now I enjoy every bit of her while I can! From her doing “computer work” (which can we all really know is Facebook)….to thinking she needs a smartphone to keep up with the times….to being the most high-tech Gram I know- who will come right out and ask you if you ever say the “F” word….because she says she does once in a while when she gets “bleeping” pissed….oh that’s a conversation I will never forget! She amazes me and makes me laugh and I love her so much! Thankful to have captured a photo of the beautiful five generations we share!  

It’s truly a blessing and quite an accomplishment to be able to say you have five living generations nowadays! Celebrating all five- especially you Gram—the glue that holds the family together!

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A whole new love

Im a grandma!!!!!!

I have recently been blessed with the birth of my new grandson-Connor Isaac Komarek. He was born Saturday, June 13 @ 9:16 pm. He weighed 8 lbs 11 oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. He was born 10 days early. He is perfect! Here is his first picture taken when he was just a few minutes old.

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He was so alert and bright eyed. He looked exactly like his momma, my daughter when she was born.  I actually had dreams about this little guy and saw what he looked like in them. I couldn’t wait to meet him to see if my dreams were accurate, and they were!!! He looked exactly how I dreamt he would!

I thought he would be born the 12th because 12 seems to be a very important number for my daughter and her husband. Their first date was on the 12th, they got engaged on the 12th, married on the 12th…why not have a baby on the 12th? But he came a day later. My husband said “It works perfect he was born a day later. It’s like it is “their” day plus one… And Connor is their plus one. Plus now he has his OWN day.” How perfect!  Speaking of my hubby-here is a photo of him-the proud Papa! He has a love for this little boy like no other.

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As my daughter was delivering I paced those halls like an expecting father who wasn’t allowed in the room. My husband went for food-my daughter had wanted Jimmy johns the very second that she could eat. Haha ! So he  ran for food and I stayed. I wasn’t going to be in the delivery room unless she needed me. I was “on call”. I paced and paced and wore a path in that carpet. I got by her door and could hear labor progressing. I would slow down by her door and go a little faster as I went down the hall in the opposite direction. Honestly I probably would have just hung outside right by her door the entire time, but didn’t want the nurses To kick me out for being a stalker.  I got back by her room and heard a screech like no other-I believe that was when she was pushing the shoulders out–and that was enough for me to plug my ears and run into the room the had prepared for them down the hall after she delivered. I could not take hearing her in so much pain! I got to their room and my husband just got back. I was crying my eyes out and kept telling him I can’t hear her like that…I can’t hear her like that. He, being a blunt man just straightened me out, hugged me and said “Well…..QUIT WALKING DOWN THERE THEN!” Haha! So I paced in circles in the room-about a four foot area! Haha! All of the sudden I heard chimes! When a baby is born they play chimes. I ran to the door-the nurses station was right across the hall. I said “Is that mine???” She just nodded yes and smiled! So then began the waiting of when we could go see them. It was only a minute and they said to go ahead! I always said I was not a runner and that NOTHING in this world would ever make me run. I always joked if someone told me there was a million dollars in my mailbox and it was mine if I just RAN down to get it, that I would pay my son $10,000 to run and get it for me. I run for nothing. Nothing except seeing my new grandson!  I ran! I left Mark in my dust!

He was/is perfect!  What a huge blessing he is,not only to his mommy and daddy but to us and everyone who meets him! It’s really emotional to think of the journey it took for my daughter to be able to hold this baby is her in her arms. The long path she took to get to this very moment in time where she has a baby all her own to cuddle, hold, love, teach.

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Connor has taught me a love I didn’t know existed.  I feel so blessed to be his grandma! It’s going to be such a joy watching my baby raise her baby! There’s nothing we won’t do for him. Whatever he wants-it’s his.

I was blessed to be able to spend some time with them once they got home, to help them get some sleep, help with whatever they needed help with. It’s always heartbreaking for me when I have to leave. I cried at the hospital when we finally headed home after being there basically round the clock for the first two days. Then cried my eyes out when I had to leave them on their own once they were back at their house. My daughters “momma emotions” have kicked in so when we hugged goodbye we both had a puddle of tears. I cry even now as I write this. I will never apologize for my crazy emotions ….I’d rather be known for being over the top than to be nothing at all.

Im so thankful for technology-text messages, the ability to send pictures, face-time, Skype…. There are unlimited ways to stay connected in the times we can’t be together physically. Babies change so much and so quickly. He changed every single day that I saw him…and it reinforced to me how much I may miss. But with the strong connection that I have with my daughter I have no doubt I will be kept as up to date as I can. Here’s a photo of me and my little monkey. I could just squish him….snuggling him is the best feeling ever.

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He is perfect…. Every time I see him or even think of him all I can say is “He…is…perfect!” God makes no mistakes…His plans are always perfect and He sure knew what He was doing when He created this little boy! I’m in love-he is my perfect little grandson.

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