A Moment of Reflection

I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we all take a moment of reflection now and then.  This is especially true when we have life changing events.  It’s certainly true for me.  In this year, my youngest left for college and my husband and I will become grandparents in December (our oldest and son-in-law).

I had the luxury of visiting my parents this past week in California.  I miss them – greatly.  It’s easy to look down the road not traveled and think, “What if…”  “What if” we had not left California 31 years ago?  Do I regret it?  I do know I miss my California family – both sides – very much.  But… I also loved being a corporate vagabond.   One thing that wasn’t impacted, however, is the relationship my children enjoyed with my parents.  While they moved with us from house to house and state to state – their constant was their room at “Grammie and Gramps’ house in California.”

I was looking for a jacket of mine left in California.  I couldn’t find it in our room, so looked in the girls’.  No jacket.  But the ‘girl empty’ room gave me pause.  And I laid on one of their beds and just looked around the room.  A lifetime of memories was crammed into a small space.  Memories of their grandparents, Kenny and me, and their own.  Below, the girls’ dressers.  These were the first pieces of “real furniture” my parents purchased as a married couple over 60 years ago.  (On the bottom of one drawer, “Maggie” is written in crayon.  She caught it for that!  —KK did it…!!!)

Above is the top of a bookcase my dad built for my own room when I was ten.  The girls have items stuffed into it that would probably give them a chuckle.  Truth be told, they really don’t see those items any more.  They’re just part of the landscape.

Oh…and the first photo on this post, the one of the horse head?  It’s a carving my dad made me when he was building one of our homes.  I asked him to make me a sawhorse “horse” and he dropped everything he was doing…and did just that.  I’m glad I have the beloved tattered thing, and that it became part of my daughters’ world.

Other memories include photos of their parents (yours truly 🙂  ).  The room seemed to be in a constant state of change. At varying times, there was a crib – for the babies – a sleeper sofa, bunk beds, twin beds.  Mom was always trying to find the best way to make four growing girls comfortable in a small area.  But she needn’t have worried.  The roughly 4-5 weeks a year we spent with them was the only time they were all together as equals.  The games they played at night, the secrets they shared!  I can only guess…  At home, we had 5 bedrooms, a game room, a finished basement – heck they didn’t have to see each other if they didn’t want to.  But not at Grammie and Gramps’.  There, they were the best, tightest team.  And they still are.  That room shaped their relationship in the best possible way.

More than one night Kenny and I would lie awake, tired from a long day at the beach, and take turns trying to get them to calm down – to stop the giggles, the occasional tears.  Because is wasn’t always happy times.  Four girls do not always get along.  But they learned to work it out, to compromise, to forgive.  What I would give today to have one more such night…

But one must look ahead…I hope to have such lovely days and nights with my own grandchildren… And I will always remember – when playing a “favorites” game”, I asked the girls to name their top three “happy places”, (one of my picks was Luxembourg Gardens in Paris), they all four said, “Our room at Grammie and Gramps.”

The Vendor Table

What is a “Vendor Table” you may ask. Well, if you haven’t planned a formal event lately, you may not know.

A “Vendor Table” is a table set aside for the “Vendors” at your wedding: the photographer, the DJ, the videographer, etc.  They have a long day, and while it is not required to serve them a meal, all hosts do.  Where to sit?  It is a lovely, generous gesture to have a table set aside for your vendors.  But then that just may not be possible due to space issues.

wedding bee.com

If an entire table is not possible, try to make sure there is a bench in front of a your venue building, or a picnic table, etc.  Anywhere for the professionals who are making your wedding a success to take a quick break will work.  Your vendors will not rest long.  There’s too much to do to keep your event running smoothly.  I have never worked a wedding where I have not had a place to rest, but talking to other vendors, it sometimes happens.


As a wedding guest recently, I attended a reception where there were not even enough chairs for the guests, much less for the vendors.  A few chairs had to be borrowed form another venue location.  Being in the business myself, my heart went out to the vendors.  Some, I knew had been on their feet in excess of 10 hours.  I can not imagine standing that long without a break.


For vendor or guest, some brides are renting lovely seating like the conversation group above.  I think it lends a cozy, yet sophisticated air.


Your vendor table doesn’t have to be as lavishly decorated as the ones for your guests, just a cozy corner to take a break.


A picnic table, such as the ones above, can make a nice respite for the weary, hard working vendor. These tables, however, are dressed so nicely, they could serve the guests!


How To Carry Your Wedding Bouquet

Do you know how to carry your wedding bouquet?  There is no etiquette that mandates the proper way, but there IS a way to do so that optimizes photos, and your “live” appearance at your wedding.


The bride in the photo above has nailed it!  Not only do I LOVE her choice of NON- flowers, she is holding her bouquet to make the most of her dress, her figure AND the bouquet. Bridal flowers are to be held with arms akimbo, (slightly out from your waist, so we CAN see that you have a waist), and at belly-button level.  This way your do not cover up the bodice of your beautiful dress.


The bride and her attendants in the next picture need a little help with staging their photo.  The flowers are being held too high, hiding the top of their dresses, and obscuring whether they have waists or not.  And what is with the floral paper?  It appears the bouquets need to be unwrapped before their photo session.


While a beautiful floral arrangement, there is just so much wrong with the “bouquet” above.  It overwhelms the bride, and one focuses on it and not HER, or her dress.


The bride above has it just right.  She is no longer in a standing position, but still wants to showcase her bouquet in this photo; so she holds it to the side.  It looks pretty, adds to the photo, but in no way takes away from the shot.


The same is true with the couple above.  You can still see the bride’s beautiful dress, her slim figure, but the flowers are an accent, not a focal point of the photo.


The bridal party above has struck a lovely floral cord.  I love the small, elegant bouquets.  One’s focus is on the pretty ladies, and their dresses – not their flowers .

A Baby Shower? My First Grandchild

A baby shower?  My first grandchild…

I had a friend recently suggest that I share a new phase of my life with my readers…that of …GRANDMOTHER!  (Thank you, Cindy!)  Yes, my oldest daughter is expecting our first grandchild in December.  She and her husband live in Vermont, so I won’t get to see the little darling as much as I’d like; but I will make the most of every chance I get!

This weekend, I will have all my children home – all six; four daughters and two sons-in-law!  They are traveling from California, Philadelphia, Vermont, and Southern Connecticut for Kathleen’s baby shower. Is that a supportive family, or what?

But this creates a problem. What DOES a mother give to her daughter upon the occasion of her first child’s birth?  I thought, and I thought…and I THOUGHT.   I finally decided to give gifts from the heart.  Our Kathleen is very family centered, very sentimental.  I think she will be pleased.

Above is a cast I made of three year old KK’s hand.  I have saved it all these years, and it has survived through many corporate moves.  It is time for her to have it.  And…it’s time to make a cast of her own little girl’s hand… (photo of her kit below).

Below is the baby blanket I crocheted for the baby.  Are the colors traditional?  No. They are bold and sassy, just like Kathleen.  I have a feeling her baby girl will follow suit…

I think my favorite gift is the one above.  I saved the “Mother/Daughter” outfits we are wearing in the photo above for 27 years.  I recently had KK’s little outfit dry-cleaned, and lovingly washed and starched the little white blouse.  Then I had a photo made of the two of us in the outfits.  This photo, by the way, is my favorite picture of myself.  We all have our favorites, and this is mine.  In it, I am expecting daughter number two, Maggie, making it doubly meaningful.  I also have a new pair of little black patent leather “mary jane” shoes, tights and a cute headband to go with the outfit, but didn’t photo them.  I guess you’ll just have to use your imagination!  🙂

When I look at the blanket above, I tear up.  It was made by my wonderful grandmother, Julia, (whom our youngest is named after), and my precious Aunt Billie.  Both have passed.  This blanket was used by all four of my girls; but there is not a stain on it.  It has soft flannel on one side, (made by Aunt Billie), and crochet work on the other, made by my grandmother.  I have included “Dreft” baby soap and stain remover.  Babies’ skin is so delicate, you must use nothing else than a baby “soap”.

What is the photo above?  It’s a tiny enamel St. Christopher metal.  I know, I know.  Little baby girl will have to be much older when she can wear it, but it will be waiting for the day.  All my daughters and I wear these metals.  St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers, and we all do a lot of that!  But – I think they are so pretty.  We all have them in varying sizes and colors.  I own 5 myself.  I often gift the girls with a new one upon a special occasion.  Do you think KK will receive one in December?  This metal is engraved with “December, 2017”.  We are unsure of baby’s name, and of course don’t know her birth date yet…

Diapers…enough said…  😉

Perhaps this will not be my last grand baby post.  Know this…I will share a picture when she comes…