Saturday, December 8, 2012

Grandma Jackie

Yesterday my Grandma passed away.She lived in Alaska her whole life, and so I saw her every few years as we visited my Mom’s extended family to visit. I was named after her, but I dropped the “I" in Jackie in middle school. When she saw my new spelling, she dubbed me “Jacki with an ‘I’.” and never let me forget it.
Obviously she was much more to our family than an occasional visit. I heard about her all the time from my mom. I heard stories of a young mother doing her best on a mining camp, shoveling out her second story window so they could walk out on the snow. I heard stories of a woman leaving her husband, in a time when that was not socially acceptable. I heard stories of a mother having babies the same time as her oldest daughter. I heard stories of love and heartbreak, of hard work and duty to her six children. She wasn’t perfect, but she did the best with what she had. She joked that her kids were going to get her into heaven, all her daughters are religious and spiritual.

From my visits to Alaska, walking into her house was like walking back in time. She was OCD about everything in that house, where the vintage cracker tins sat above the cupboards, which afghan hung on the back of the chair.  I remember sitting upstairs, looking at the books from my mom’s childhood, the foot pedal singer sewing machine, the huge quilts and the all the antique crocks. Jackie had a huge wood fire burning stove in her home, where she served us moose meatloaf on my honeymoon. When John said it was the most delicious meatloaf she said “Don’t try to brown nose now.” Her bathroom smelled like Ivory soap and tobacco, she tried to sneak smoking in there, like we didn’t know. Her garden was huge, full of lettuce and potatoes and her flower garden with lines and lines of snapdragons. She hated when the summer humidity made her take her sweatshirt off while gardening, she was accustomed to Alaska weather through and through.

Grandma Jackie had a close relationship with my cousins who lived next door, always there to watch over and entertain or put them to work. She had a path through the woods to their house, something I loved walking through as a visitor, it made her property so much like a setting in a storybook. My mom started printing pictures of my kids off the blog and sending it to her, it always touched me that she would ask about my kids and wanted to see pictures. She has so many grandchildren and great grandchildren, and a few great greats, I thought we might be lost among them as the far flung kids in the lower 48.

Her last few years have been plagued with hospital visits from her ailing liver. I am glad she’s free from the pain and suffering she’s endured from the last few years. I hope she is at peace with her husband and their friends that she’s watched go before her. Rest in Peace Grandma Jackie.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Carrie is married!

My sister was married this past weekend.

Here are some highlights from a jam packed week.


Bachelorette Party in Gettysburg- Pizza, cupcakes and a Ghost Tour



My sister’s colors were robin egg blue and creams and coral. Gray suits and bow ties with Gray Van sneakers, wildflowers and burlap for the flowers.



Some tips for taking pics of kids at weddings. Have them do some smile poses, then whatever they want. It keeps em happy and into the shoot.



I enjoy taking all the candid and funny shots, and leaving the huge list of group shots for the official photographer. My favorite shots of the group shots were all the silly ones- or the bridesmaids below, where we were told to laugh hysterically, some of the girls thought we were jumping, and the aftershot and reaction was priceless.


I made the girls dresses with white cotton fabric embroidered, and sewed them dresses so it would fit and be cool enough, yet have sleeves. I also wanted a lace underskirt.



Leo’s vest and shorts were from a pattern, but I shortened the shorts to be a little past the knee.


At the wedding dinner with our close families, the groom’s family had Carrie and Keaton play a game. They faced away from each other, each holding a shoe of their own and their spouses shoe. Then the caller would say “Funniest” or “Most organized” etc, and each would hold up the shoe of the person that fit the description. It was hilarious to see what they agreed and didn’t agree on.


We also played a musical chairs type game, where each person had a wedding related word, and the person in the middle called out half a dozen of the words, and all those people had to get up and find a new seat. It was a great game for a variety of ages to play together.





At the reception,we had tents set up at a family friend’s farm. When guests arrived, they put their gifts and cards in the back of an old pick up truck.



Jenga blocks were signed along with the guest book, and little pieces of paper for writing down your “favorite memory of us” “date ideas” and “marriage advice” in mason jars.


An old oven had the wedding cupcakes waiting to be put out. The wedding topper was a wooden M with buttons all over.



Drinks were in a old canoe with ice, and hanging from the trees were burlap art with button messages.



One of Carrie’s good friends made this Moon, with a chair behind, so you can take a pic of you and your loves “over the moon” with love.  I missed pictures of the teapot centerpieces filled with flowers and the twine bows on mason jars with tea lights.




Last but not least, the highlight of my week wasn’t the wedding, which was wonderful, but spending time with my mom and her sister Sally, my sister, and all of us having fun together in the midst of the crazy.



Hooray for weddings and big parties! Congrats Carrie and Keaton!

California Classics

We went on a classic vacation- Beach and Disney, grandparents and fun games, too much food and never enough sun. We loved the beach weather and 75 degrees all day every day. Disneyland was fun yet exhausting. It was my first trip, so there was a learning curve after the first day- but our second day was so much more fun. Everyday we’d have some breakfast at our beach condo, go somewhere, beach or disney or on a walk or church, then eat dinner together. At night the kids and John would go to bed, and I’d live up to my night owl nature and hang out with the other families at their condo across the courtyard.  Hope you can feel the excitement, joy and love from these photos!






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