Monday, September 05, 2022

so, where was I all summer, and just exactly what was I doing anyway?

 EPIC + BUSY + WHIRLWIND = Summer '22 for my family!!!

first, we started off with a trip to Baltimore, MD, to celebrate this little guy, T, turning 1. (!!!) i love this picture of him in his cozy couple. it reminds me so much of Toy Story. i plan to have this picture printed out VERY LARGE and hang it somewhere prominent. he's so sweet... 

while we were down celebrating baby T, we realized that Margo (the dog) also had a birthday. she turned 2. so of course a little impromptu birthday party was in order...

a few weeks later, we all piled in the car again, and headed back down to Baltimore to help N with his new replacement windows. my son N, and wife P, have a cute little Craftsman house, and hubby Dave put some of the replacement windows in, as well as taught N how to install the ones that remained when we left. 

granddaughter E was happy to help. (and T was intrigued by Pap's bucket of tools) 

then at the end of June, we drove to Florida (via Georgia) to see Dave's parents, Bud and Joyce. we stopped off at the National Prisoner of War Museum in Andersonville. Some of Dave's relatives are buried there, and it was a sobering history lesson. we have plans to visit the Union Civil POW Camp in Elmira, NY soon. 

while in FL, A turned 16. (!!!) we celebrated with a trip to Target. 

as well as birthday cake and presents with Nanny and Papa. it was such a lovely visit, adn despite the HOURS AND HOURS in the car, and miserable Florida weather, we are so happy that we went! it had been 2½ years since we'd seen the grandparents in person. 

when we returned home, A was ready to take her driver's permit test, and passed on the first try. now she and daddy are regularly practicing/driving and A is anxious to get her driver's license. 

July 4th was celebrated by the families in our family- below is N, P with E & T and the Bernese Mountain Dog Margo. apparently Baltimore does a fantastic parade for the 4th. they were up at at 'em early to watch the parade, and they had a great time. (and took this fantastic family picture!) 

we also celebrated the 4th with our daughter's family- M & K and children C, L, A and S in their backyard. we just love the chinese lanterns, and just about any holiday or special occasion is a great reason to launch a few... 

just a few days after returning home from FL, we got the phone call that my FIL was not doing well, and was in fact in the hospital from complications of COPD and CHF. although initially expected to make a full recovery, Bud passed away July 28. 

a few days after that initial phone call, we dropped everything and drove to Florida, both to be with Bud, and to help and support Joyce. that time (a bit more than a week) that Bud was in the hospital, and then hospice, was a roller coaster of emotions. but the special blessing was that the 3 brothers were together again. (2 live in PA, the youngest in GA) it was so meaningful to all be together as we rallied around the parents, caring for them, loving them, and helping to make decisions. it was a family time that i'll always remember and treasure. relationships are so important- especially the family ones! 

a little bit of "stash enhancement" happened too! i'm thinking of the pattern Exploding Hearts for this colorful bundle...

while Dave and I were traveling back from FL, {most of} the rest of family gathered at Knoebel's for a family fun day. i was so sad to miss this- we had planned it months in advance- it's so hard to get a large, busy family all together at once, but they sent me lots of pictures, and had a great time! (and what a great picture, too, right?!) 

once again this summer, my 3 daughters participated in a local triathlon (run, paddle, cycle) and did great, placing 2nd in the Woman's Team category. we just love the play on words for their team- 3 sisters/ Corn, Beans, Squash. 

after Bud passed away, the 3 brothers made the decision that Joyce really couldn't stay in Florida alone. that was not a safe, or sustainable plan... we'd be only be another phone call away from the next crisis. so the decision was made (with Joyce's agreement, of course) that she would come to live with us in PA. our house was/is the only logical and possible option, aside from a nursing home or assisted living. she'd rather live with us, so that necessitated finishing the downstairs bedroom. 

this room was our master bedroom for 15 years, and we lived in it in this unfinished state for that whole time. after awhile, we didn't even see how undone it was- it's just the normal state of things that we obviously got used to, and were blind to how raw it looked! we came home from Florida and started finishing this room. Dave and I moved to an upstairs bedroom, emptied out this room and got busy! 

i'm including these {unfinished, a-little-bit-shocking pictures} of the BEFORE so you can really appreciate the AFTER. 

it actually only took about 3 weeks to finish this space for Joyce: hanging the drywall, finishing the drywall. hang 2 doors, put up the trim, sand and refinish the floor, paint all the things, window treatments, outlet covers and cover the baseboard heaters (properly) 

so now the room is DONE. and soon will start our "new normal": Tuesday we leave for Florida (driving down for the 3rd time this summer, in case any of you dear readers are keeping track!) and on Friday (September 16) Joyce and  I will fly home to PA, while the boys (my husband Dave, and his brothers Jim and John) pack up the house and load up some of the furniture and belongings that Joyce will bring to PA for her room. 

with the granddaughters, A (16) and B (almost 15) we think it will be good for Joyce to be here with our family, in a family setting of a busy and active house. Joyce's room is downstairs, right off the main living area, so she can come and go as she pleases, depending on the activity (and noise!) level in our house. 

so, the big question is: how will it go? how will it change our lives? the simple answer is i have no idea! but i know that we are making the right decision- for Joyce, for us, and for the family. and i'm confident that in choosing to make sacrifices and do what is right (not necessarily easy or fun) i will be blessed and grow as i learn to show love in a way that does not come naturally for me. 

1 comment:

Kathy S. said...

You made a beautiful room for Joyce. My husband and I are the same way when it comes to worrying about finishing a big project. We started building a new home in 1998. (My husband did all the work from drawing the blueprint to digging the hole and then everything after that except for the brick and all the concrete. He could have done those things, but the area was just to big to finish in one summer.). It is still unfinished. The house is on the same property that we live on. My husband is in the huge garage of that house EVERY SINGLE DAY. My longarm is in the living room of that house. We live in the old house that is on the same property. Someday...

You are the best daughter-in-law ever (and wife and mom). I hope you can make many wonderful memories of when your MIL lived with you. It's so important to have peace between family members.

I LOVE the corn, bean, and squash team shirts. That's adorable. Exploding Heart will be great for that bundle of fabric. Enjoy!


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