Tag Archives: family


I think it’s best to combine weeks three and four of the year-long gratitude challenge. Yes, I am already behind. But that’s not the only reason. Promise! Anyway, my family is important to me. Sometimes I forget just how important. We live far away, we rarely talk, etc. Henry’s birthday gave me the chance to see and talk to lots of family, though, including my Aunt Nydia. Nydia is my mom’s eldest sister.  She helped to raise all of us.  I’m especially grateful for her because she talked me into applying to college.  She took me to visit Huntingdon during the Thanksgiving break of my senior year in high school.  I fell in love with the campus, as she knew I would, and the rest is history.  Everything I hold dearest, just about everything that defines me–my husband, my closest friends, my education and career–I really owe to her.  She’s kind and thoughtful and wonderful, and I love her.  She’s been a wonderful example for me throughout my life–as a woman who pursued higher education despite adversity, among other things–and I am better for having her in my life.  My whole family is.

Tagged ,

family (day 24)

Last night, I unlocked my phone to open WordPress and saw a text from my mom with the words wreck and transfer truck in it. Happily, they were accompanied by the words Glenn and I are fine. I used what would have been my writing time to continue texting with my mom.

I suppose it goes without saying that I am thankful for my family. Yet it’s worth saying. And it bears repeating. I am thankful for my family. 

I was going to write about my family even before mom’s texts. Really, I was. They’ve been on my mind. My eldest aunt has hosted my mom’s side of the family for Thanksgiving since my grandmother died, but her husband has taken ill, and she’s very understandably bowed out. And so, for the first time in several years, I won’t be seeing her, or my mom, or any other family on Thanksgiving. 

I have been mourning that. Thanksgiving is my family’s holiday, the one with the best food and football rivalry, the the only one that still brings us all together. Last year, my family gave us a baby shower after dinner. Most of them haven’t yet met Henry. I was looking forward to passing him around, to seeing how delightful he would find it all and how delighted they would be in him. I’ll miss that. And them. 
But I am lucky that I have family I’ll actually miss. And lucky, too, that I can spend the day with Michael and Henry. 

And I’m lucky in that Henry reminds me of my family and why they matter to me. He just got these cowboy pajamas that remind me of my grandfather.
He would have loved them. My aunt and her husband would like them, too. Keep a good thought for them both, would you? 

Tagged , , ,

try a little thankfulness (day 1)

(with apologies to Otis Redding)

Though I have resisted the thankful-until-Thanksgiving posts in the past, I think I will try them this year. Here’s as good a place as any. I think I’ll try to make them quick, for my sake and yours. –Bellee 

This weekend we’re in Tennessee with Michael’s family, and today we were privileged to witness the baptism of our niece, Celia. I’m thankful for that, and for her, and for her sweetly inquisitive, slightly bored expression here.

Tagged , ,

Second City

Since we mentioned our first family vacation in my past post, I thought I would share some photos of our trip to Chicago here. We had a marvelous time, as you can see! We saw good friends and learned that we can do this family thing wherever we happen to be.  Henry did really well on the plane and loved making friends everywhere we went. I have loved Chicago for a long time. Now we all do. 


Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Gramma’s Potato Salad

Today I found myself missing my grandmother something awful.  She’s been gone for six Thanksgivings already, but it still seems as though I should be seeing her next week.  I’m glad we’ll be able to spend the day with the rest of my side of the family, but while I’m thankful, I’m missing Gramma in advance.

Gramma holding me in front of her house, 1983

Since I can’t stop thinking about her, and we all know how comforting food can be, I decided to try my hand at making her potato salad.  I usually don’t even like potato salad, but I could eat this every day. It’s got apples in it!   I’ve written here before about Gramma’s food, how nothing seems to taste right now that her hands aren’t in the kitchen mix.  Really and truly, though, I think I’ve got it pretty close.  And without a recipe!  Maybe it’s just that potato salad isn’t really all that difficult, but I’m pretty pleased and proud.  (I did call my mom from the grocery store to check the basics.)

Gramma’s Potato Salad

3 large Idaho potatoes
1 red delicious apple
1/2 sweet onion (more or less to taste)
4 large eggs
1 large dill pickle spear (more or less to taste)
1 cup mayonnaise (or enough for a good consistency – less if you don’t like mayo much)
salt and pepper to taste
paprika to taste (and sprinkled over top)

Maybe not the most beautiful picture…but delicious, trust me.

Peel and cut potatoes into cubes.  Place them into cold water with a dash of salt, then bring the water to a boil.  Remove from heat and drain once they’re cooked through.  While they cool, put on four eggs to boil.  Cut apple into half-inch or so cubes, and dice onion to your preferred texture.  You’ll also want to dice the dill pickle spear into a relish-like consistency.  (But don’t use relish!  It’s too juicy.)  Once the eggs are finished, peel and chop those as well–about the same size as the apple.  Combine all these ingredients in a large bowl.  Add mayonnaise, salt, and pepper as you mix.  Sprinkle paprika over the top, and chill.  Serves 4-5.

Tagged , , , ,

little boy blue

little boy blue

We have a new nephew! His name is Emmett Joseph, and he was born June 4. Most people call him Joey, though he might end up a Joe as time goes on. We got to meet him last weekend and, true to Uncle Michael style, we snapped some photos during the visit. This photo isn’t the best we took–we’ll have to wait for the birth announcement to share more–but it captures Joey pretty well. He’s laid back, happy to sit with anyone who wants to snuggle. (That’s his Auntie Bellee under the bumpy blue blanket.) The camera loves him, and so do we. We can’t wait to see who he grows up to be.

Tagged , , ,