Thursday, December 25, 2008


Christmas Day is here, but feels like it has been here a long time, as it started with getting all my gifts purchased and mailed about Thanksgiving time, before flying out to Ohio. While there, we celebrated an early Christmas with Jen, her new baby, her husband and her in-laws. Then I came home where my sisters were here visiting Mom, so another Christmas was held the night before Terri and John left. Ann was here for Christmas Eve, so we made a standing rib roast dinner to enjoy after attending the children's Mass...complete with little children re-enacting the nativity scene. And now Ann left early this morning, so Mom and I had our Christmas breakfast this morning (note the beautiful tulips on the table, sent by Jen, Niels and Baby Daniel!), and will finally end this long Christmas season with a dinner at the clubhouse. You will note that I am wearing a new Christmas boot....sprained some ligaments in my foot, so get to wear this lovely support for a few weeks. That will really cramp my riding...which I have been told to refrain from for 2 or weeks. That is to be seen. So now Mom has gone home, rain is falling on an unusual cool, dark and wet Christmas week, and the house is cozy with candles glowing and lights twinkling on the little broken ceramic tree and my corner tree. Wylee is sleeping at my feet, and John Wayne is doing his thing on the TV. Soon I will limp out to visit Bart, where I will give him some apples and carrots mixed with his feed and antibiotics that he is on after a "discussion" with the neighboring horse left him with some cuts and abrasions. Then home to fix a dish to bring to the clubhouse dinner, fill our bellies with too much food, and if we can stay awake, Mom and I will end the day seeing the well-reviewed movie "Marley and Me". I have enjoyed phone calls from family and friends today, and although I miss having little children around on this day, it has been a peaceful Christmas, and one in which I am grateful for the rich gifts of friendships and family I have enjoyed. In another week, the year will be over. It has been a traumatic one for our country and I am looking forward to CHANGE. MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

DANIEL JOEL 12-18-08

Niel's father is a professional photographer and just took these pictures, which I love! I would expect there will be many, many more taken during their two week stay. My Danny Boy certainly looks like his Daddy!


Niels parents arrived from Holland last night to meet their first grandchild. Since Danny Boy looks so much like his Daddy, it must have been like a flashback to the day they held their own newborn son in their arms. A dinner had been delivered by church members, so we sat down to a festive Christmas table, lit the candles, and had a champagne toast to the grandparents...oh yes, and to the parents, too!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


After a difficult 9 months of pregnancy, a stressful week at the hospital after delivery, and a day back to work, Niels came home last night, enjoyed a dinner provided by a neighbor, opened a few baby gifts, then stretched out on the floor in front of the fireplace fire and Daniel, and fell fast asleep for the next 3 hours. He has been a rock of strength, understanding and patience throughout the ordeal. It has been a whirlwind past few years for this long-time bachelor. From meeting Jen to engagement in Paris, big wedding and Caribbean honeymoon, a new home in a new town, and the race to start a family. He's a tough guy, but finally hit the wall last night. We turned down the lights and let Daddy and Danny sleep. Today has been a busy one with laundry, trip to hospital for nursing group, errands to clinic and Target, and now Mom and baby are sleeping, too. Tomorrow Niels parents arrive from Holland. Hope everyone gets a good night's sleep tonight!!!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008


All is quiet....Mom and baby are napping, Daddy has gone to work, house is picked up, dishes are done, and Gramma is ready for her nap, too! My little Danny Boy is such a sweetie....eats and sleeps well, and is beginning to check out his new world with his blue eyes. The house has changed from the Generation X Yuppie digs to one of baby swings, beds, diaper bags, feeding bottles and lots and lots of gift bags and presents for the new parents and baby. Jen's feedings are going better, but she is still tense, which causes muscles tightning and cramping, so she is working on learning to use relaxation techniques. It is that tough first week of getting adjusted to the new duties and body changes. I guess it has been going on for thousands of years to billions of women, but it only happens to your body the first time once! Niels has been terrific in his calm support and encouragement. Things will eventually settle down to a comfortable routine, but the first week is always the most challenging to brand new parents! Luckily, they have a very sweet, mellow little boy who eats and sleeps well, and makes things a little easier on them. And of course, Gramma adores him!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It would take a lot to convince a former Minnesotan to leave her new home, dog and horse in Arizona to fly to dark, rainy, cold Ohio in the middle of December, but here I am! I arrived last night at 9:30 pm, and was picked up by my anxious son-in-law and rushed to the hospital to meet Daniel Joel, my second grandson and my daughter's first child, who was delivered by C-section that morning. Holding that precious little bundle made it worth the all-day trip with all the packing, shuttles, security checks, transfers, lay-overs, and turbulence. Mom and baby are doing well...and Daddy is handling his new responsibility with amazing calm and pride. Being the Generation X kids, they have already filled the Internet with pictures and all the details. Here is the story from their blog: