Just three weeks ago, my friend, Gloria and I were sitting in the Wellstar Kennestone Hospital Labor and Delivery waiting room. Gloria, who is our son-in-law, Scott’s Grandmother, asked me, “Joan, are you still writing blog posts on your Pages From Joan? I have not been getting any lately on my email.”
This brief conversation reminded me that I truly had been wanting to get back into writing posts for my Pages. Connected on Facebook with many of you on my Monday Mood, Tuesday Thoughts, Wholehearted Wednesday, Thursday Talk, and Friday Food For Thought weekly posts, I knew, however, I had missed posts here on the web.
Thanks for that question and your constant encouragement, Gloria!
Yes, it is the middle of September.
A couple of weeks ago, in Marietta, Georgia, I was sitting outside in the early dawn holding a steaming, black cup of coffee with our lab, Gracie. An owl in the distance was finishing his hooting for the night as we sat. My mug with an image of a yawning, sleepy-eyed baby in hand. Our new grandson. Our first grandchild.
Here I am again hoping to add encouragement and inspiration to our lives.
Right at a time in our journey when a whole new adventure is beginning for us. As of Friday night, August 24, 2018, we became first-time grandparents with the birth of a boy named Michael Scott Andrews, 111, also known as Tripp. Rolling into our world, three weeks early, Tripp weighed 5 lb. 2 oz. and measured 17 1/2 inches long.
Mommy, our daughter, Leah, and baby are doing splendidly with the constant help and aid of Tripp’s new Daddy, Scott. Watching Leah and Scott work as a team to nurture and care for this little guy has been nothing short of remarkable. Early on, Tripp required an around-the-clock feeding every two hours, even if this meant waking him up from a deep slumber to accomplish this.
And now, I find myself sitting in our son’s family home in University City, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. Just over a week has passed since the arrival of our precious little baby granddaughter, Elizabeth Noel Page. Our two children had due dates that were one day apart. Our grands had a different plan and surprised us with birthdays in different months, two weeks to the day apart in age. Relieving Jessica’s parents who have been so helpful during Elizabeth’s first week of life, I am staying here for the next several nights to cook, do laundry, oh, and I might hold our new granddaughter a little, too.
Oh, and I am not sure if I told you this…neither family wanted to find out the gender of the little one until the baby announced it him/herself on the birthday! After all of the fun and surprises during childhood, there are so few events to be curious and surprised over in adulthood. Not knowing if we were having two girls, two boys, or one of each added fuel to the fire of excitement!
Ecstatic. Overjoyed. Contentment. Grace.
These are some of the descriptions that have come to mind at this season of our life journey.
I’ve been surprised by how much I have missed my Mama during this past few weeks. My three big sisters have helped share the excitement and enjoyment of our two new grands. However, Mama was right beside me at my time of first-time motherhood in October, 1988, and I have longed for her to be with me as a first-time grandmother.
Thankfully, I’ve had the blessing of being next to Leah, along with Scott’s Mom, Cindy, who has been such a help to her. I am also getting the chance to spend time with our son and his bride as she experiences first-time motherhood. I am in awe with how calm and at ease both of our girls have been with their little ones.
Besides that, it has astonished me how the memories of my experience as a first-time Mommy to Leah have come pouring back to me.
I did not know how much my husband Pop and I would love these new little people, the children of our children.
I now know why they call these children GRANDchildren. Tripp and Elizabeth are surely grand to us.
My hope is that you and I will be inspired, encouraged, and learn new things as we journey on together through my PAGES from Joan. My goal to stay fit physically, spiritually, and emotionally has never been stronger than it is today. A grandmama, “Jojo” who plays on the floor and initiates adventures with these two grands is who I aim to be.
There are so many ways to “LOVE WELL,” and this may actually mean very different things to different people depending on your circumstances and the people who surround you throughout your days.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
As I was working on my last post entitled Five Ways to Love Well, it was easy to think of lots of ways to love well, so here we go with five more:
SHARE YOUR WISDOM AND TALENTS. Daddy played the clarinet for the residents at Atherton Place in Marietta, Georgia, where he lived for the last eight years of his life. He loved sharing his gift of music with everyone! Sometimes he even sang Unforgettable or Young At Heart. One of his many granddaughters benefitted from her GoodDaddy’s talent as shown here, they often played duets with their instruments.
BE OF SERVICE TO OTHERS. Here is our daughter, Leah driving her GoodDaddy home after one of our family parties.
As the rest of us were cleaning up dishes and putting away food, I recall Leah volunteering to run him back to his home at Atherton. He was happy to catch a ride with his granddaughter, too, as his face easily shows. As the weather gets cooler, model service to others by keeping warm, new gloves in your car and giving them to people on the street who look cold. Your children can hand these gloves to a stranger under your supervision and you will plant a seed of service that will grow and blossom.
COOK FAVORITE FOODS FOR YOUR LOVED ONES. Even though it’s been a few years since we had the same busy weekday schedule that many of you are carrying right now, I do so realize this is not the easiest thing to do! The crockpot was my best friend during the days of practices, homework, lessons and early bedtimes.
Consider finding yourself a copy of Fix it and Forget it! One of my favorite crockpot tools. A hardback copy can be purchased on Amazon for $0.01 plus $3.99 S/H.
I also used this other book pictured here for quick, healthy meals. In addition, as often as possible, I tried to involve the children in helping out in meal preparation.
Make it a “group effort” to get dinner on the table. Mama always loved helping out in the kitchen when she would visit our home, saying, “Give me a job!” Consider following my good friend, Lucy’s food blog: In A Southern Kitchen. One of her most recent posts features some short-cuts to healthy meals for the family.
PLAY WITH YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. Even though our Dad worked very hard to provide for our family of six children, he would come home, get on all fours, and play “TIGER” with us. Same with my husband. Soon after our children were beyond the infant stage, he regularly had what we called “floor time” with them and they loved it! This involved tickling, wrestling, rolling around together. The giggling heard throughout the house was contagious, starting our evenings out in a happy way. This sounds so simple. These pictures are better examples than any words I could share with you! A Pastor and long-time friend, Garry goofs off with his grandson, Alex; a childhood friend of my sister Kathy, Peggy reads to her new baby girl twins; a baby is covered with “Grandma kisses.”
How many of you can relate to this!?!
And the last three are of Leah (now age 26) making memories with her grandparents.
CELEBRATE BIRTHDAYS! [pullquote]A birthday says ‘Thank you for being you.” On a birthday, we do not say ‘Thanks for what you did, or said, or accomplished.’ No. we say ‘Thank you for being born and being among us,” Nicole Johnson[/pullquote]My friend, Donna recently posted this beautiful birthday cake on Facebook as they celebrated one of her son’s special days.
What would you add to this list of ways to love well???
Here is a recap of our list from this post and the last one:
Be there for each other.
Stay connected with the help of technology and letters.