Tyler doing his GQ photoshoot at the cemetary. Cousins! From left to right: Macey, Maddie, Annie, Noah, Adam, Jamie, Tyler Everyone except Annie, but I thought my kids were really cute here. The rest of the cousins were too, of course, but here Tyler isn't squinting and Jamie isn't chewing on anything except her hands. Mommies and Babies. Jamie mauling her brother. Quality cousin time :) I really want to take a picture of these two in 10-15 years doing the exact same thing.
Our flight started off promising, if nothing else. McKay actually got bereavement leave for four days, so that was a nice surprise. I was still slightly scarred from flying alone with two kids back in October. Having two adults would help things along, or so I thought.
Anyway, Tyler and Jamie had a great time waiting to board. Tyler alerted everyone that there were in fact airplanes outside the window. Jamie munched on Tyler's breakfast while he wasn't looking.
(Happiness ends here.)
The actual flight was pretty awful. We were shoved in the last row by the bathrooms (which smelled AWFUL) and the engines (one of which completely blocked Tyler's window), and someone's dog, which was drugged and shoved under McKay's seat. It stank so bad. The flight attendents were mean and not helpful, and when Jamie went nuts being confined, they kept telling us to sit when we tried to walk her around. It was almost three hours of smelling stinky dog or stinky, hot bathroom, keeping Tyler entertained and belted in, and holding a screaming baby, all while the others passengers sighed and stared and the stewardesses scolded us for being horrible human beings.
She was feisty. She was a full-blooded Sicilian, and like Vizzini says “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.” She got offended when we didn’t call often enough, and she let us know. She followed our blogs and Facebooks avidly, and left long messages on both, always in all caps lock, like she was so excited to be talking to us that she was shouting.
She was fun. She went to Kenny Chesney concerts and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat productions. She always wore a crazy Santa hat on Christmas morning. She took me to get manicures before every homecoming and prom, and we’d talk while she got a pedicure. She let me practice driving her car before I got my driver’s license because I couldn’t drive my stick shift yet. She kept me filled in on all the family drama when I moved away after high school, and made me dozens of scarves and blankets because she was sure I would forget to dress myself properly and freeze to death outside of California.
She was everyone’s Grandma. All our friends growing up knew her and called her “Grandma Sandi,” not “your Grandma.” She made the best spaghetti this side of the Atlantic, with meatballs, sausages, chunky sauce and garlic bread. She taught me how to crochet and cook and she introduced me to musicals and old movies. She made me feel important, which was something vital to the third kid out of six who sometimes felt lost in the shuffle.
She passed away two weeks ago, and it’s still weird to think I can’t pick up the phone and call her. Even when my sister Robin and I were trying to figure out who to call and ask what the funeral plans were, my first thought was to call Grandma. I miss her, but I know that she can walk now, and she is with her family and friends that she hasn’t seen in decades. And now she gets to meet Elizabeth Taylor, too, which probably just thrilled her to pieces :)
Love you Grandma, and we'll see you in a little while!
*When I was three, I started calling her Debbie, and no one knew why. I don't remember ever doing it, but I still called her Debbie sometimes for fun.
A few months ago, I came across a website called "Feasting With the Prophets," a website with all the prophets' favorite desserts. I mentally shelved the idea until the holidays were over and life calmed down a little bit. Well, holidays were over three months ago (although our presents to the Eatough family are still sitting in our closet and patiently awaiting a trip to the post office. Seems to be a pattern here, doesn't it?) , and life is about as calm as it will ever be around here, so it's time to get our prophet feast on!
Week #1: Joseph Smith
Favorite Dessert: Johnny Cake w/ butter and syrup
Joseph Smith's family ate Johnny Cake so often that one of his children, when asked to bless the food, prayed "We thank Thee, Lord for this Johnny Cake, and ask Thee to send us something better. Amen."
We forgot to take pictures from that week, but it was yummy. A little plain, but Joseph wasn't exactly dining with kings during his turbulent life.
Week #2: Brigham Young
Favorite Dessert: Buttermilk Doughnuts
Brigham Young learned to make these doughnuts as a young man while caring for his sick mother. Later on, in Utah he ate two or three of these every morning during the "second course" of breakfast, which took place after the morning chores were done.
Tyler was itching to dive into this sugary goodness all afternoon while we baked them. He was soooo excited when it was finally time to eat.
Grandma and Grandpa enjoying their donuts (doughnuts?)
Our little bay window area has become our favorite part of the house in the last few weeks. We throw open both windows and watch the world outside. We get the sunshine, fresh air, new environment without having to put pants on (on Jamie, at any rate). It's the perfect height for Jamie to hold onto the ledge, peek outside and shriek at people walking by (then we duck so they don't see us spying on them), and Tyler counts the cars, tells me what they are and what color they are, and then he tells me stories about what the squirrels outside are up to.
We get our snacks ready, take them over to the little corner windows and park it for an hour or two. (On this particular day, Tyler had a leftover Mickey Mouse cookie from a birthday party that week, and Jamie had strawberries. Yum!)