Monday, January 31, 2011

The Look of Wonder

What a gift it is to be in the presence of a one year old with eyes seeing things for the first time.
Ellie takes it all in.
This birthday of mine was spent with Miss E and her parents at the Museum of Science and Industry. It's a new experience for us to be the grandparents with the grandchild and we LOVE every minute watching her take it all in. Getting older certainly has its rewards, doesn't it?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

LEAF it to My Sister

Well, the end of January has come upon us once more and I find myself another year older. If you follow this blog, you know that my sister and I celebrate our birthdays with themed gifts and this year she went all out with her selection of "Turn Over a New Leaf" inspired by my resolution word of 2010 which is Turnover.

Each gift had a little leaf tag with written clues as to what was inside the package. For example, the eye mask shown above had the leaf clue of "Turn over a new leaf...rather than turning over in your sleep."

It was delightful to open each package and try to guess what could be inside...I ended up with many items that will help me in my quest to be a better person inside and out for this year of 2011 including brown rice products, leaf earrings, exercise power cords and even a recipe book with 500 low carb selections to prepare. Way to go, Sis! Then we headed out to eat lunch. How perfect was it to eat at the Basil Leaf Cafe in Lincoln Park? The food was divine. Following lunch, we walked over to the Lincoln Park Conservatory (get it? lots of leaves there) and had our own personal docent tour us through the indoor plantings of palm trees, ferns, orchids and special exhibit.
Never before have I gotten so excited about the fiddleheads of ferns about to pop out of the center. Truly a living piece of artwork!
We also learned much about the growth of orchids...did you know that there are more types of orchids than types of mammals? That was certainly the fun fact of the day for me!
It was simply the best way to celebrate the entry into the second half of the birthday decade. Leaf it to my sister to find a way to bring warmth and green in the midst of all this cold and white snow we are having these days. Thank you from the bottom of my bloomin' heart!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What to Do Instead of Cleaning the Basement

Sometimes I admit to getting distracted from doing a dreaded chore such as cleaning the basement. All of a sudden, I can think of all sorts of other things to do instead such as: 1. Changing the blog header. 2. Drinking almond milk sprinkled with cinnamon and's actually quite delicious!
3. Reading a book. This one was a good murder mystery as told through Flavia, a precocious 11 year old British girl.
4. Making a book bag for our new Great Niece, Linnea. Congrats to Kurt, Denee, Ava and Ingrid! 5. Competing against myself with the Facebook word game, Lexulous. It is like Scrabble.
6. Sewing projects from the book Wee Wonderfuls by Hillary Lang. Above are two "Pixies" (unfortunately one has an issue with cellulite in her legs thanks to lumpy stuffing) and below is "Panda Buns" with her hair buns looking like panda bear faces.
There you have it - my guilty pleasures. And now I really must head down the stairs to clean.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It is So, So Sweet

For the past year we have had the sweetest time observing our Grand-daughter changing from a helpless little bundle of joy to an active, exploring, interacting one year old. The differences between being new parents (for us this journey began nearly 30 years ago) and being new grandparents is pronounced. Here we can be well-rested, bearers of toys that we like, and readers of books anytime without the distractions of meals, messy messes or whatever!
We can laugh at things we wouldn't have laughed at back then. We can celebrate moments of little Ellie standing up for the first time or stuffing her face with new squishy foods --- then
spreading them all over her hair. We can hold her when she extends her arms up to us right then and there. We know this time around how quickly time passes, which we didn't fully "get" when we began parenting all those years ago.
Yesterday was your birthday. One year old already. Thanks for the sweet times, dear Ellie. Always know that we love you - and your special parents as well for the excellent job they are doing in your day-to-day growing up.

Monday, January 10, 2011

All Seven of Us

Ever since our dear Miss Ellie was born last January, I have been trying to get a decent picture of all seven of us together. It just wasn't happening!So this past weekend, we finally had a photo session with photographer Kate. The setting was a little unusual - can you guess where we were*?
Kate took pictures of Ellie's family of three, Ellie with her aunt and uncle and, of course, with her G and G and the whole gang.
There was even an outfit change for our little sweet potato pie. (She certainly looked pretty in pink as well, thanks to a special dress selected by her Great Grandpa.)
Here Ellie shows her enthusiasm for the printed pages of a board book. (Over the weekend, she paid her Gramma a visit at her newly renovated beautiful library where books, DVD's and CD's were flying off the shelves.)
Good times, my friends, good times!
*Northbrook Court Mall

Saturday, January 01, 2011

The Resolution Word for 2011

It's time once again to reveal THE resolution word of 2011! This is the third year for choosing a word to inspire the recipient (me) as motivation for becoming a better person in some small way or another. A list of resolutions does nothing for me except make me feel guilty or negative and I certainly don't need that at this point in time. In 2009, my inspirational word was savor. It was a great word! Slowing down to take it all in actually was a result of this simple five-letter word. In 2009, mindful was my resolution word. I had high hopes that this word would help me to remember where I put my keys when I plopped them down. I also hoped to remember to be mindful of the needs of others and step up to the plate with support. Perhaps it is my advancing age that made following-through more challenging than "savor" because I know I fell short at times. For the past week or so, I have been tossing around many resolution words in my head. But, nothing was hitting the right chord, until early this morning when this word popped into my cerebral cortex. The word is turnover. Why? Please allow me to give an explanation.

Turnover, of course, is a sweet little pastry. How I love sweets, treats and carb-laced eats. But, due to certain factors, I have been given a yellow light - almost ready to turn red - regarding these foods. Thus I need to turn over/turnover a new leaf to get healthier.

Certainly the word turnover has other implications as well. Sports, employment, pancake flipping, and restless sleeping all involve this action. But, for me, I hope I can turnover to a more healthy eating/exercising way of life and leave the other kinds of turnovers on the bakery racks!