Friday, April 1, 2011

Renewal Month of April: Blog 1: Letters from Mom & Mimi

Angel Bear Blanket from Jackie

So Miss Petite Peanut (and that name is truly fitting as you went to your 1 year check-up today.  You weigh 18lbs 13oz, which puts you in the 13th percentile for weight.  And you are 28in long, which puts you in the 14th percentile for height.  You are teeny and so squeezable!),

Welcome to spring- my favorite time of year!  With this season and with our blog this month, our focus is going to be on renewal.  And it's so fitting that we just had a refreshing spring break vacation with Aunt Ally- she really is the best and we had such a good time with her.  She spoiled you- letting you play with her cell phone and television remote control (things you are not allowed to play with at home!) and even gave you ice cream that you couldn't get enough of.  You loved being on the couch with us girls chatting and watching reality TV.  I think you learned quickly the meaning of girls' weekend- shopping, eating, and spending quality time together.  And yes, you even took a trip to the spa with us (and you looked so chic in your pink Minnie Mouse bathing suit and matching cover-up from your Poppy- which was a saving grace that you are so darn cute because you got your grilled cheese all over the lounge chairs by the pool!).  I think Aunt Ally would agree that you were awesome and you will be invited back!  I still can't even believe that was your 7th round-trip plane ride in your 12 months of living.  Geez Girl!  You are meant to be a world traveler... just always be sure to take your Mom and your Mimi with you!

Mimi is right, to have a friend, you must be a friend.  And your Mimi and I are both blessed with so many amazing friendships- I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to share them with you in future blogs (and have you be able to see them firsthand as you are understanding more about people and their interactions)!  Your Mimi's relationship with Jackie that she wrote about in the last Blog is so special because both women are very alike with their enormous hearts of gold.  Jackie is the one who often sends you gifts that are in memory of your brother- your angel bear blanket and your Kyle bear & book are two that you especially love.  She knows how important it is to me for you to know your brother. 

And I love that Mimi explained how she got her nickname Mickey from her dad (and isn't it ironic that Mimi married someone- your Poppy- who loves Mickey Mouse and all things Disney?!).  I think my Mom's passive personality is from my Grandfather.  Meanwhile, my Gram Bubbles is very outspoken.  Your Mimi may not have gotten that from her but she did get her strength.  But even better, she inherited Gram Bubbles' amazing creativity and artistic ability.  It's Gram Bubbles' painting that's above your crib and Mimi is following suit by creating a beautiful scrapbook documenting your first year.  Mimi, tell us more about the scrapbook and how you use your creative energy to be your best self.

Spending time with the people that know you best and you love most will fill your spirit.  That's why I enjoy spending so much time with you Ellie Girl- your laugh, energy, and curiosity are infectious!      

Ok Ellie, quick metaphor about renewal: The seasons mimic our life cycle- spring is birth, summer is young adulthood, fall is mature adult years, and winter is when you are old. 

Remember that cycles are circles (both are never-ending) so even after death, life comes back- perfect that Easter falls around this time too, right?!  THERE IS LIFE AFTER DEATH.

And in your life that you were given, it is important to be the best you because it is such a gift.  But to do that, you will need to refuel at times because life can also be overwhelming.  Here's what I do- if it's self-reflection and quiet time that I need, I read (curled up on my rocking chair with a good cup of hot chocolate and Joepa on my lap)  Or spend time, phone calls and Skype definitely count, with my family and friends if it's energy that I need.  Those are my favorite things to do in the whole world to renew my spirit.  What do you do Mimi?  Actually, I bet I can guess.  Your Mimi is always running in a gazillion directions but when she settles down quietly, she is the most talented writer.  Now you have gotten glimpses of her beautiful writing through this blog so you can see how descriptive she is.  Everything is always so vivid when she writes; I can always picture her story as a movie in my mind.  But it's Mimi's poetry that is my favorite.  I have a folder of her work for you when you are older to keep and cherish.  We should publish these into an anthology someday.  They really are uplifting and they warm the heart because that's where my Mom writes from.

Ok Ellie, we all know though that life doesn't always go according to plan no matter how much re-energizing we do.  So now memorize this prayer (that your Mimi and I know very well):
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things that I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

In times of frustration, my Gram Mundy used to whisper this under her breath and now I do too (you can ask your dad, he's heard it plenty of times!).  Prayer and meditation will ground you.  Finding balance in your life Ellie with all the noise and stress of everyday life is important.  You will find that the only thing you really can control in life is yourself so be focused and clear to make the best choices possible. 

Prayer, religion, and faith can be very private matters to some people.  Your Mimi and I have never been preachers but we will both agree that we are extremely spiritual.  And I'm a firm believer that questioning your faith makes it stronger.  Know that it's ok to speak to God or to past loved ones Ellie (and be sure to listen too) because that's where the best answers or responses can sometimes come from.  Mimi has a prayer routine and it's a little out of the ordinary.  Perhaps, if she's comfortable, she can share it with us.  Or maybe she can tell us her favorite prayer.  

I think Mimi that our recipes for this month should focus around a meal that we would have for a Sunday family dinner because when I think back, those times spent as a family focused me for the week and reminded me what the most important priority was.  These days Ellie, your Dad and I tend to have family night on Fridays.  We make dinner, sit at the dining room table, and can talk for hours.  And yes, Ellie you join us and are a part of our conversations that are filled with lots of laughter.  Church and these family dinners will always be a tradition in our home too (I know Ellie, I have to be more diligent about church).

Love you baby girl!

PS I like how Gram Bubbles is giving us help on our nickname.  I'm not sold on the last suggestions but we are getting close!  And our friend Linda emailed a few suggestions after reading our blog.  Hers made me laugh- Loose Tea Girls... and although I completely understand the words, I think the term loose might give off the wrong impression if read incorrectly...  But Linda's other idea was to call us the Scottish Tea Generation Blend and that definitely has potential!  I love that this has become interactive!!!  We need all the help we can get!

Now from your Mimi

Hi Ellie Love!

I made myself a cup of tea over an hour ago, and yes I have "nuked" it twice already.  But it is still deliciously sweet, it is still soothingly warm and it is saying to me, "Get writing Mimi!"  So here I sit at the computer with the keyboard at my fingertips ready to go!

Alright, I am ready.  This new month of April I will begin with researching our Topic Word "Renewal."

Renewal:  to regain, restore or revive the physical or mental vigor of.  To fill again by supplying what has been used up.  Ahhhh, Webster's Dictionary is so on target!   Ellie, as you can see from the beginning of this blog, your mommy has a special gift when it comes to writing.  Her words breathe emotion.  Her words take on life, they not only touch our 5 senses but they actually touch our 6th sense too, our spiritual sense.  She wrote on the importance of refueling... relying on faith... and importance of family connections. Her words, such as quiet time with a book, hot chocolate and JoePa.... Gram Mundy's whisper, the angel bear blanket, and the Serenity prayer... family night Fridays, conversations with laughter and always the name Ellie and Kyle give my mind a beautiful clear picture of what she is describing, a sense of peace and always a smile.  I love too how your mommy made an analogy of the Season's to The Life Cycle.  Can I ask a question here?????  If I wanted to avoid the "Old" part of the life cycle, would moving closer to the Equator count????  Or does "winter" occur there also even if you don't see it or feel it????  Hmmmmm.... just a thought I need to ponder for a bit!  But getting back on track, Kimberly, you are correct in making reference to: The Seasons, The Life Cycle, Our Topic Word Renewal and Easter.  For Easter is about the is about restoring life.  You picked the perfect month to reflect on this subject!

As for me Ellie... I try very hard to let my spiritual sense guide me.  I am a strong believer in faith as it has never failed me in both my happiest moments and also my saddest moments.  I have a daily routine that is a bit out of the ordinary.  It is a special time for me to meditate, to reflect, to pray.  It is while I am driving.  I let the radio go silent and I fill the car with my chatter of prayers.  And there are many.  I say prayers of thanks, prayers for others and prayers for daily guidance.  I like to create a visual with each prayer too... I guess I do that so everything that goes through my mind is quite clear (especially for those on the other side to "see" so there won't be even a hint of confusion!)  And every once in awhile when I am stopped at a red light and a car pulls up next to me... I think to myself that the person in that car is going to think I am a tad bit crazy for talking to myself, so I pretend I am singing (remember the radio is silent) and I let my head be-bop around a bit as though my upper body is grovin with the movin!  Once the car passes, I go back to my original routine of meditation.  It brings me a feeling of comfort Ellie and a feeling of goodness too!  Your mom asked what my favorite prayer is.... well, I do say quite a few depending on the day, but the one prayer I faithfully say daily is The Our Father.  That prayer grounds me Ellie and it reminds me that there is a much bigger picture out there.  I believe our time here is kind of like a stepping stone.  We each have a purpose, a reason for being... and a time frame to complete that purpose.  Gram Mundy used to quote The Golden Rule "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  How beautiful is that?  Simple, truthful and kind.  Wouldn't it be grand if everyone would live by this rule?  We can always dream Ellie... I do.  I believe that someday this really could happen!  Like your mom, I am not one to preach, but I do try to set a good example just as your mommy and daddy are setting wonderful examples for you.  So watch them Ellie, learn from them and apply them.  You too have a spiritual sense.

Your mommy touched upon some wonderful ideas that help her re-energize.  She asked me what mine were.  After a bit of thought I came up with the following:  Cleaning.... compulsively at times.  I used to find this activity very relaxing, but then I turned 50 and that went right out the window! Reading.... like your mom, I too have a love of books.  But there are times when your mom gets so excited with one great book after another and of course she has to tell me about each and every one Ellie that naturally I need to put them on my list to read of which overwhelms me to the point of major stress!  Walking.... I love to walk and like the character in the movie Forest Gump, I could probably walk to the other end of the continent, except when it is cold (which is late fall to early spring)... then I have to put my sneakers away for 6 months until the weather turns warm again.  Walking is a great way to meditate though as there is so much quiet time around you and it brings your sense of sight, of smell and of hearing to an incredible height of new awareness!  Writing.... I think I could write forever - stories, poems, thoughts, but I have to be in a writing mood otherwise I just tap my pencil on the tablet like a woodpecker attacking a fresh piece of wood!  But this Blog to Ellie idea your mom came up with is awesome as it gives her and I "pen and paper" time together!  It is just another of our many ways to stay connected!  Talking on the telephone.... this would be one of my favorites.  Your Poppy might tell you that the phone receiver and cord is another limb extension of mine, but honestly Ellie I love people.  And that means of all ages.  It is not so much for me to chat someone else's ear off but rather to listen to what others have to say.  Their feelings, their thoughts, their joys and their sorrows are important to me.  And of course my favorite subject to hear about is you!  Because you live so very far away, I am thrilled when your mom calls a dozen times a day, even if it is a 5 minute phone call.... for she will tell me every new little thing you are doing and experiencing.  I particularly love it when she calls and says "Quick, hang up and let's Skype!  You have to see Ellie take a few steps!" .... or "You have to see Ellie say 'yes'," (of which you then continuously shake your head 'no'!).... or "You have to see Ellie wink" (which you do by closing both eyes together in slow motion which is so darned cute!)  I could go on and on with little stories of you as you continuously amaze me and lift my spirit with your energy, your smile, and your wonderment of all that is new in life!  It gives me a closer connection with you Ellie.... and for that, I am forever grateful.  I love your mommy!  And lastly, the most important way I re-energize is... yup... you guessed it... sipping a freshly brewed cup of tea... preferably with a friend but I also enjoy my tea alone!   So I guess Ellie the lesson to be learned here is to make the best of each day God gives you.  Trust in HIM and your life will be rich with love and happiness both on the outside and within!

So what recipe shall I share for this month Kim????  Our Easter dinner of days gone by used to be baked ham.... but ever since "The Honey Baked Ham Store" came into existence, well they not only perfected my dish but took away all the prep work and kitchen mess with it!  So it only stands to reason that I buy their ham!   You know, the same thing happened with my homemade spaghetti sauce too.  I would put hours into making it from scratch and then what do you know????.... Prego came along!  It was as though the "sauce" company loved my recipe and graciously put it in a jar!  They too took away all my prep work and kitchen mess!  Brilliant I must say!!   Hmmmmm... getting back to the recipe question, I shall need to put some thought into it.   Hopefully the weather will turn warmer soon so that I may open windows and get some fresh air in here.  That should stimulate my brain!!  And here is a question for you for next week Kimberly.  Besides the sacrifice of giving up something we desire during Lent, how else do you use this time, the 40 days before Easter?  I shall write my response in the next blog.

Till then Ellie Rosebud!
Love, Mimi :)

P.S.  I agree that Linda's name suggestion is getting close!  Any other suggestions out there????  Hey Kimberly, how about "Three G's for Tea"?????  G could stand for "girls" or "generations".  Mmmmmm.... still not sure.  Back to the drawing board I go!


  1. Kim and Mickey,
    What a treasure you are giving Ellie! Love, love, love this!

  2. Kim and Mic

    Ellie might be the ultimate receiver in these blogs but I am so glad I read this blog today as I prepare for my sister's service. Your thoughts on renewal comfort me. Thanks for being such a special friends and allowing me to share your gift.

  3. Thank you Jackie and Kathy! Our hearts are with you today Jackie. Sending lots of love on such a tough day.