Monday, April 27, 2009

march make up 3

I've been avoiding writing this post.

A couple days after Sam's parents left, I went over to Alisa's to have lunch with Melissa who was on spring break and to catch up. It was lovely and I came home when Anna was ready for a nap. I had just put her down when I got a phone call from my mom. She told me that earlier that afternoon, my Grandma Fawnie had died. My Grandpa was with her, as usual, holding her hand when she slipped off into sleep. She had been in poor health for several years, but her heart started having trouble a few days before her death.

While I was home, we'd been to see her a few times. She told me how beautiful little Anna was, how sweet, and with such pretty hair. She reminded me that children are precious and special. We sang some songs with her, took her outside to see the bunnies, and brought her flowers. We took pictures with Grandma, my mom, Karen and I, and our daughters, Elizabeth and Anna (whose names are taken from Gradma's mom, Anna Elizabeth Holmquist Graff), four generations of mothers and daughters. On the same day, Daddy, Steve, and Grandpa gave Grandma the sacrament. I'm sure mom was inspired when she thought to do that.

In December, when Sam and I were in Ohio for Christmas, we went to Grandma's nursing home's Christmas party. She was beautifully dressed in a red sweater with her hair curled. She was a thoughtful hostess, as usual, and made sure we all had enough to drink and got the salt and pepper. She loved watching Anna play with Grandpa Holt and bang the spoon on the table. She was as lively and happy as I'd seen her in a long time.

My mom posted my grandmother's obituary on her blog, and it gives the details and accomplishments of her life, so I won't write those here. I will write my own memories of Grandma. We drove to Salt Lake to visit her and my Grandpa many times during my childhood. I loved watching the changing landscape of the country from little hills and farmlands of Ohio to the Great Plains, to the plateaus of Wyoming and then the big glorious mountains we drove through as we wound our way through the canyon. It was like Grandma and Grandpa lived in a magical land and you had to make this wonderful journey to be able to access it.

Grandma's house was magical. When we arrived, Grandpa would come out to the car to meet us and laugh and pat the car. I would feel the smooth, warm concrete on my feet as I ran across their porch, twirling around the poles that held up the awning on my way inside to see Grandma. The minute we came inside and gave hugs and kisses, she would say, "You can have anything you want," and would show us the refrigerator and all the little treats she'd made for us.

Somehow, it seemed Grandma spent all her time with me while I was there, though I'm sure the other cousins felt exactly the same way. She would show me to my room at the top of the stairs and she would make sure I got the pink rosy blanket when I came. We would watch Pollyanna together every time I came and she'd let me sit in the big leather chair. She'd bring me little sandwiches and cakes on pretty dishes and lemonade in a nice cold glass.

Her garage was a treasure trove full of toys she'd made herself. There were playsets made from cardboard and pretty flowered laminating paper and fabric and tape. There was a kitchen and a doctor's office and a little living room. Of course she had toys to go along with them and we spent hours pretending and cooking and ironing and wrapping casts and checking hearts. She had sand that we'd mix with water to create little towers and designs. She showed us how to dry flowers and decorated spoons and wreaths with them. She was so generous with everything she had and I was never scolded for using too much of anything.

When I got older and went to college, my grandparents were just 45 minutes away. They let me use their car to drive to homecoming. I spent Thanksgiving with them. Once I left the dorms, Grandma was always sending me home with tons of food and sweets. Every time I visited, they had stocked the freezer with ice cream and Grandma made dinner.

When I went to London, they were so proud of me, though it really wasn't an accomplishment. They read all my letters and sent me cards. They saved everything I ever sent to them. On my second time there, I was feeling homesick on Thanksgiving, and I decided to call them. Grandpa answered and when I said who it was, he shouted for joy into the phone. They spent the next hour asking me all sorts of questions and telling me how wonderful and incredible I was. I couldn't help but feel better because of them.

Grandma always told me I was beautiful and complimented me on my clothes and hair. She had wonderful taste and creativity. She was an artist to the core and everything she made was beautiful and interesting. She was funny and engaging. She loved to tell me stories of when she was in college, or a young wife and mother. They were usually a little embarassing, but that endeared me to her all the more because she wasn't afraid to laugh at herself.

I hope I can be a little more like my Grandma who took her greatest delight in creating games and toys and costumes for her children and then played with them and taught them and encouraged their imaginations, who loved to make her home beautiful and loved to do little things to surprise her husband, who gave away all that she had freely, and who loved the gospel and taught her children to do the same.

I miss you so much Grandma Fawnie! I love you!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

get crafty

My Mom and Dad are coming to visit us in a couple weeks. I'm getting very excited. Mom has been asking what projects I want help on, and this is one I just thought of yesterday, so she doesn't know about it yet. I love Anna in the few (2) skirts she has and would love some more for spring and summer. A basic baby skirt is SO easy to make, so I could do it myself, but I'm sure my Mom will be able to give them exquisite finishing touches like she does with everything she makes.

Hopefully I'll win this giveaway too so I won't have to go through the process of skirt making again in a couple years.

Simple Skirts Giveaway

Monday, April 20, 2009

a request

With Anna on the verge of turning one, I'm feeling the need to be prepped for the toddler years. Anyone have any good suggestions for parenting books that have helped them out with this age?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

march make up 2

A few days after we got back from Ohio, Sam's parents and youngest brother Joseph came to Houston for their spring break. Sam's brother Ben and his family were also able to come and it was great fun to have half the Cosby clan together.

We all got together on a Saturday morning. First, we pushed the button down town*. Then we had a yummy pizza lunch before heading to the Houston Aquarium. Anna loved the fish again and took a quick nap there. Belle got a much-desired ride on the carousel with Aunt Katrina, and then we all went to the Chocolate Bar for dessert. I'm sorry to say I was pretty disappointed by their frozen hot chocolate. Good thing I got ice cream, too.

After a dinner of nachos and a couple hours of Nintendo time with Sam's siblings, we came home with Joe in tow. He stayed at our apartment for the next few nights and was a model guest. He was easily pleased with our Wii, texting, and any food we gave him. On Monday night we told Joe we wanted him to have the best night of his life and would take him anywhere he wanted for dinner and we'd do anything he wanted after that. He requested Taco Bell and Mini-Golf. Can't beat that. I'm pretty sure it was the best night of his life.

The day before, Sam's parents joined us for church and we got some of Ruth's famous enchiladas for dinner afterwards. We played a few card games together and took naps. On Monday, we took Anna to the park and fed the ducks. She held out her hand to one, and it bit her fingers! She didn't even flinch though, and we've been back often since. We went to La Centerra to meet Amy and Belle for lunch and while we were waiting, we put Anna in the fountain there. She loved it and I of course forgot my camera. We took her back a few days later and took these, though.

Before Van and Ruth left, they left us with two big presents for Anna's birthday. She's so excited about the bright colored wrapping paper and loves to pat them with her hands when she manages to get into her closet. We love our Cosby family and miss them very much!

*Ask me if you want more information about that. It was definitely as someone described it to my sister-in-law Katrina-- a biblical experience.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

peep show 2009

My friends Lizzie and Micah are holding their second annual Peep Show in which participants submit creative...things...involving the marshmallow confections called Peeps. People vote for the ones they like best. Winners get prizes. Here is my entry for this year:

Go check out the other entries and vote for your favorites!

march make up 1

March was a crazy month, and I still feel like I'm recovering a little from it. But so many fun things happened, I wanted to be sure I wrote about them. So, the next few posts will be a bit of March Make Up. Then we'll move to April and hopefully, someday soon, I'll be caught up.

In the first week of March, Anna and I flew to Cleveland to spend time with my parents, grandparents, sister, and niece who is only 4 months older than Anna. I had a wonderful time sharing mom stories with my sister and it was hilarious to see Anna and Elizabeth interact. Of course, they always wanted exactly the same thing. Elizabeth usually wanted whatever Anna was playing with, even if she had the same toy already. There was lots of intervention and soothing, but when they weren't fighting over toys, they were absolutely adorable together.

My dad liked to carry them both around at the same time and sing little songs to them. He's so gentle with babies and Anna always calms down when he walks her around. Elizabeth was old enough to start playing simple games while we were there and she was so fun to watch playing peek-a-boo, or rolling a ball, or doing actions along with songs and books that she knew. We miss her and Karen a lot.

We took the girls to the zoo and though Anna didn't really get most of it, she loved to watch the colorful fish swimming around and she got VERY excited about the little spry monkeys who were constantly running and swinging and wrestling with each other.

I wasn't very good about taking pictures while I was there, but on our last night, after Grandma played with and bathed and dressed Anna for bed, I got this picture to at least document that they had been together.

More pictures from our visit are in my "big B little B. what begins with B?" posts.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Read Elder Holland's message on the hope and peace of Jesus Christ's atonement, death, and resurrection in its entirety here.

I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He lives. He knows me and He loves me. He knows you and He loves you. I am eternally indebted to Him for His perfect life and sacrifice and grace so that I may return to my Father. And for that, I love Him.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


My friend Lizzie (who is a real, published writer) graciously invited me to join her in starting a blog to have a place to practice, experiment with, and enjoy other peoples' writing. We pick a theme each week and write whatever that them inspires, with a different contributor each day. It's called oliofolio. I write there once every/every other week or so. Check me out.

PS-- Join us this week by sharing your two cents on this.

Monday, April 06, 2009

our egg-celent eater

It's no secret that Anna loves to eat. Have you seen that little girl's thighs? I hope she always has the same healthy attitude towards food that she has now.