Dear Granddaughter…..

In September, we celebrated Peanut’s 9th birthday. NINE! It’s hard to comprehend it was nine years ago I was promoted to being a Nana. A lot has been packed into those nine years…sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago she was placed in my arms, but at other times, nine years seems to have flown by at warp speed.

I put together Peanut’s school photos from Pre-K to her current 3rd grade shot. While they are not drastically different, the person behind the face has transformed in hundreds of ways in just nine short years.

Since time is a fleeting illusion, I want to take a few moments and pass on some Nana wisdom to my first grandbabykin.

Dear Peanut,

You have always been and always will be loved. I loved you before you were even put in my arms as a swaddled baby burrito. That is not to say you don’t do unloveable things….and I may not like you at times….but I always love you and will always be here for you. You can bet on that and be sure to win every time.

To steal a line from the 2016 Cinderella remake, Be kind and have courage. Both are difficult to do. Kindness may be becoming a lost art in our “me first” culture. It takes a lot of work to be kind to people, especially when you don’t like them, are mad at them, or see them as different from you. Extending kindness to family members is sometimes especially hard because there are times we make more of an effort to be nice to people outside our family and save the worst for those closest to us…who love us always!

Have courage. It’s scary to try new things. It’s scary to step out of our comfort zones in the way we think and act. I know this from experience. it was scary moving to a new house and school when I was in 3rd grade. It was scary to move to a new town after Papa and I got married….a town where I didn’t know anyone. It was scary when Papa and I moved to Columbia…a town where I didn’t know anyone either. It was really scary when Papa was told he had cancer. It’s also scary to do the right thing when you think others will look at you differently or not like you anymore. This is especially hard when your friends are doing things you know aren’t right, but you want them to like you so you’re tempted to do those things anyway. Don’t. Have the courage to stand up for what’s right.

Keep your faith strong. So many people walk away from their beliefs when they get older, thinking faith is something only for children. Our culture doesn’t encourage strong faith in God. It does encourage strong faith in doing whatever we think will make us happy…or is convenient…or easy. Being an authentic Christian is hard work. It requires we believe and do the right things even when we don’t understand or see the reason. Many times you will be tempted to not make your faith a priority in your life. But, dearest Peanut, your faith will sustain you in those scary moments when the storms of life roll in and tear your life to pieces.

Trust. Trust those of us who love you that the things we do are to help grow you into someone others will respect; someone YOU can respect. Growing up is hard, and there are many times when you’ll think you know what’s best….but you won’t. I ask you trust even when you don’t agree; even when you don’t understand. It’s related to believing and trusting God has a plan for your life….a good plan….even though many times you’ll feel like you don’t agree or don’t understand why things are happening the way they are.

Love yourself. Not in a narcissistic way, but love yourself as a person of worth. It’s easy to feel like we can never measure up to our culture’s ideas and expectations. I want you to always love who you are, flaws and all. That is NOT to say you shouldn’t try to change areas of your life that need improvement. And, this is not reason to excuse bad attitudes or behavior. You are a child of the King….who loves you unconditionally. If you can love your imperfect self, you can love others despite their imperfections too.

Peanut, you are strong-willed and incredibly talented in many areas. I encourage you to use that strong will and those talents in positive, constructive ways…and never be ashamed of the things you have accomplished and will accomplish in the future.

In the years to come, you will face many challenges and ride the roller coaster of emotions. I hope by keeping these things in mind, life will be a bit smoother….for everyone involved!

Love always,
Nana

 

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Our first Twixism!

Back in 2012 we started keeping track of some of the random things Peanut would say as a three and a half year old. You can read some of them HERE, HERE, HERE an HERE.

Well, here it is 2017 and Twix is right on schedule. Her first Twixism (that’s been shared with me) was heard this morning while they were getting ready to come to our house.

Backgrounder: Peanut is starting third grade on Wednesday. She is both excited and a bit anxious. She started a new school last year when they moved into their newly renovated house. She knows the school and has tons of friends. But I suppose that doesn’t overcome those first-day-of-school jitters about the unknown that lies ahead.

This morning The Recruiter told us Peanut said she had “butterflies in her stomach.”

To which Twix replied: “Maybe you stood outside with your mouth open and butterflies flew in.”

Completely reasonable.

Planning on sharing this at
Peabea’s Scribble Pad
for Pictorial Tuesday.

Celebrating the life we’ve built together

Today is Entrepreneur and my 37th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe it’s been that many years since we stood at an altar as doe-eyed twenty-somethings…believing the life ahead of us was full of endless possibilities.

No one really clued us in as to just how hard this thing called marriage really is. At that time, both our parents had been married twenty-some-odd years. That seemed like a lifetime to us. Now, our 25th seems like a lifetime ago.

Thirty seven years; two children, two grandbabykins, four dogs, four cats, and nine residences. That’s a lot to cram into a life together. Those years were filled with both blissful highs and abysmal lows. Personal and professional challenges have done their best to derail us. We’ve had moments when we couldn’t have been prouder of our children…balanced with time we weren’t sure they would ever be responsible adults. Over 37 yeas, we’ve experienced the frustration of trying to figure out how to navigate life, and keep those negative influences at bay that can destroy a marriage.

The couples that are ‘meant to be’ are the ones who go through everything that is meant to tear them apart, and come out even stronger than they were before.
~Author unknown

I always assumed we’d be one of those odd, little couples who made it to their 50th anniversary. Our children and grandchildren would throw a party to commemorate that milestone in grand style. We would toast each other for “putting up” with the other for so many years.

Now, given our current circumstances, I’m hoping and praying we are able to celebrate that 40th anniversary. Forty-five years might be a gift. Fifty? I would count myself extremely fortunate if that was in the master plan.

And, yes, I know all this sounds a bit on the pessimistic side. But, along with my Pollyanna hopes and dreams, there’s a realist lurking on the edges. And reality is, unless a treatment for renal cell cancer is found soon…or there is some divine intervention….that’s our reality.

Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

~1 Corinthians 13:7

But for today, we celebrate thirty-seven. And are grateful and appreciative for that opportunity. There won’t be any fanfare or grand parties. A quiet dinner somewhere where we can reminisce and marvel at the life we built together will be enough for me.

And, though our children are grown, out of the house and making it on their own, there will be one waiting for us when we get home. And, we simply can’t end the day without mentioning Cabo turns four months old today!

So a Happy Anniversary to us AND Happy (four month) Birthday to our fur baby.

A summer palette of color

Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer’s year—
it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul.
~Author Unknown

I haven’t played with the color palette template for a while. I find it interesting to take a photo that really appeals to me, separate out the colors and discover the combinations that makes the photo different…but you just can’t put your finder on why. This was one of those photos. Once I saw the warmth of the colors, I immediately knew it was a summer palette.

These posies were compliments of The Golfer during her surprise visit to see her dad. Arriving at 4:45am July 2nd, she let herself into the house and almost gave him a heart attack when we got up at 6am! She needed to see her dad….and he needed to see her. After all, Florida is a long ways away when major stress hits a family in middle Missouri. And, phone calls really don’t cut it.

She spent the week focusing on her dad, passing on other social invitations to spend hours chatting on the patio and watching TV in the evenings. They took a morning and went to the driving range so “her coach” could offer some pointers on her (LPGA-certified) golf swing. They floated in the pool, soaking up some Vitamin D. She spent Independence Day with us and her sister, The Recruiter. The only things missing were her god-daughters, who were still in Alabama with their dad. But she did get to meet Cabo….her fur baby little brother!

The summer palette…with the warmth of sunny yellows combined with the greens of life. No wonder I like this photo.

To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.
~Barbara Bush

 

Photo Blogging Challenge: Different Lens

While PJ’s intent over at A ‘lil Hoohaa  was to use a different camera and/or lens for this month’s challenge…that’s a challenge in itself for me. My beloved Canon SLR died on me a couple of years ago and I replaced it with a smaller, more compact Canon camera (big mistake). So, aside from the camera phone (which has challenges of its own), a different lens is not really an option for me. Soooooo…….

I’ve decided to interpret the challenge in a different way; taking a more esoteric approach to the word, “lens,” which i think fits nicely with my blog’s name, Peripheral Perceptions. So, stay with me and I hope my wanderings will become more clear.

Let’s begin with the word, Paradigm. Everyone has their own lens in which they prefer to view the world. Those lenses, or paradigms, shape how we believe things should work or be done in our version of a perfect world. We all bring knowledge and personal experiences when forming our individual worldview. But, sometimes it’s beneficial for us to look at our worldview through a different lens. In doing so, we just might be able to make a shift away from those ingrained thoughts and expectations. In using a different lens, we experience paradigm shifts that can unmask stagnant thinking and help us look at ourselves and the world in a completely new way.

To further make my point, I’ve chosen five quotes that will, hopefully, help reflect the direction I chose to go this month.

Different Lens #1
Paradigms are like glasses. When you have incomplete paradigms about yourself or life in general, it’s like wearing glasses with the wrong prescription. That lens affects how you see everything else. ~Sean Covey
Entrepreneur is having a major paradigm shift with this recent bout with cancer. The lens in which he views his life has changed…and he would not agree it’s for the better. Looking at life through the lens of brain surgery and chemo pills is affecting how he’s viewing life and how he’s contemplating his future. One thing is for sure, these two little pocket rockets are the best lens correction anyone could ask for!

Different Lens #2
Just one step. Just one mile. Just one dollar. Just one kiss. Just one person. When we look at life through the lens of ‘one,’ everything becomes that much more attainable. ~Mick Ebeling
The paradigm shift mentioned above and the different lens used right now is one of “one day at a time.” The goal being to do one thing each day that makes life feel a bit more normal.

Different Lens #3
You see things through a different lens when you have a child. ~Kevin Nealon
Photographing children forces one to look at life through a different lens and try to capture the feeling of a fleeting moment in time. It’s much more than just point and shoot…and hope something of value wanders into your lens field. And, when you look at life through the lens of a child, everything is a wonder!
  

Different Lens #4
Art is kind of the lens through which I think about God. ~Dan Colen
There are many different forms of art. Drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, mixed media, textile, writing, performing, etc…the list goes on and on. God created the universe and everything in it, We were created, so it follows logic that the need to “create” is ingrained in our DNA, and is a reflection of our Maker. It’s been that way for millions of years. Peanut realized this when we went to a museum of art and archeology where she saw artifacts humankind created dating back to 5500 BC.

Different Lens #5
In life and in politics, it’s helpful to try to perceive the other person through the most generous lens. ~Megyn Kelly
And that, unfortunately, doesn’t happen a lot anymore in our culture; maybe not in any culture. We’re so quick to be judge, jury and executioner for anyone and anything that goes against our opinions. Our current political climate is a perfect example. There is no photo to literally portray this quote, but I hope closing with something beautiful will motivate everyone to try to be kinder and more generous, and choose to look at situations from different perspectives and lenses. Perhaps in doing so, we can let go of our judgmental, critical minds and focus on looking at life through the lens of appreciation and generosity—treating all people with respect, and giving others the benefit of the doubt.

One thing for sure is we all use different lenses interchangeably when looking at life. Paradigm shifts may force us to change lenses, but it’s in the refocusing of our lens that makes all the difference.

Hope you enjoyed my interpretation of PJ’s prompt this month. Now you can visit his page and see the lens in which others viewed this topic.

 

 

Conflicted

Well, they are on their way to stay with their dad for a month. The Recruiter, Peanut and Twix left this afternoon to make the trek to Nashville for the hand off for the second leg of their trip to Alabama.

And I’m oddly conflicted.

On one hand, with all that’s happened since February, Entrepreneur and I need a break from the endless energy and incessant “whys” of a three year old. And, having both of them since mid-May when the after-school sitter left college for summer break has been both a joy and a challenge. AND, add the fur baby that arrived the beginning of June and…..well…are you tired yet? We are. We really do need this time to regroup and Entrepreneur needs this time to rest due to chemo fatigue. So, we’re down two children….but training a fur baby.

But, on the other hand, each time they leave, the relief is replaced with worry and concern. Call it parental paranoia or whatever. I’m counting the days until their return. When they hit the door again in mid-July, there won’t be much summer left before those back-to-school and after-school activities begin again. In the meantime, my house will be void of munchkin-size clothing lying around, half-drank beverages in the frig, books, crayons, pencils and toys on every surface in every room. Gone will be the bath toys in my soaker tub, and luvies within arms reach of every bed.

I feel guilty about looking forward to the break…knowing the time we have with them is a gift not afforded to every grandparent. Am I ungrateful for that gift if I’m relieved to be relieved of those child care responsibilities? What if something happens to them while they are gone? I would be devastated knowing I was looking forward to time in the empty nest…even if it was only temporarily.

Such is the life of long-distance visitation.

So we try to pack as much as we can into the few weeks of summer before they have to leave. We did picnics and playgrounds; pool time and popsicles; Peanut and I visited a museum and took in a movie; went to our church’s version of VBS (on steroids); and scheduled horseback riding lessons. Plus, we made sure there were times for just hanging out with nothing organized so the mind could wander uninterrupted.

Please enjoy a few early summer childhood captures of our grandbabykins.


A nosefull of posies.


Yes, she is that high. Zoom lens required.


Picnic pupper and his pal.


The University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archeology; artifacts and art ranging from circa 1550 BCE to the 20th century.


Pool time with Papa.


Sittin’ pretty in the saddle.


He loves me……..


An uninterrupted afternoon.


Mermaids do exist!


She was a little uncontrollable at the sprayground!


The epitome of summer relaxation.


Litter mates.

I think I got a little carried away with my pics. But, I’m sure you’ll forgive me. 🙂 I hope everyone’s summer is off to a wonderful start.

xoxo

Introducing…..

It’s been so hard to keep me under wraps, but now it’s time to let the blogosphere in on a little secret. A new fur-baby has arrived!

TA-DA! My name is Cabo and I’m very happy to meet you all. And, despite my size, I’m kinda a big deal around here.

They tell me I’m a Goldendoodle….my Golden Retriever mom was named Mari Gold and my Standard Poodle dad was named Jude. I was born on March 26, 2017 and came to my forever home on Saturday, May 27, 2017.

Sometimes my people mom and dad make a mistake and call me Tanner so I think I have some very big paws to fill. Evidently, it wasn’t that long ago when they unexpectedly lost their beloved Golden Retriever. I don’t think they planned on adding another fur baby yet, but I guess they just missed having a pupper underfoot around the house.

My new mom and dad might be a little rusty on their puppyhood skills since the very first thing that happened was I was put into a big, slippery, white container and water with bubbly stuff was poured over me. Totally wasn’t expecting that.

But snuggles and a nap in a soft towel on mom’s lap made it worthwhile.

I thought I’d miss my litter mates a little those first nights, but the weirdest thing is I can still smell them on the towel that’s in my kennel. So, I guess everything is okay and I don’t get lonely in the middle of the night. Mom says I’m a super awesome puppy for letting her get 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

One day, we ventured out to a HUGE place with lots of new smells. Mom and Dad got me a spiffy red, white and blue collar with my very own name tag! I also got some new toys!

A few days ago, I went to see a new doctor and she checked me all over and said I’d already gained 2 pounds since I got home! Nope, I miss very few opportunities to eat. I almost have mom and dad potty trained to when I need to go outside…but miss occasionally just to keep them on their toes.

Oh, and the best thing about my new home is it came with playmates! There’s this funny-looking dog I see occasionally in the house. I cornered it in a room and tried to play with the swishy tail, but the only thing that happened was I got batted on the nose. I’ll try to play again another day.

Sometimes TWO other playmates come to see me! They’re LOADS of fun! I think we’ll be besties very soon.

I think I’ll stay with my new mom and dad. They seem pretty okay so far. But now, I think I need to take a nap. Being a puppy is really hard work.

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
—Roger Caras