To Grandmother’s House we Go

Monday August 19, 2013

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I know for the past few days I’ve been saying “I couldn’t wait to get back to see this person or that person”, but truthfully, the tipping point for us to buy tickets back to Michigan when we found we’d have a layover in Ft. Lauderdale was to see family.  And more importantly in that line of family, Matt’s grandma.  She’s turning 90 in October, a complete sweetheart and a total crack-up with stories from her childhood (don’t even get me started on tales about shoe glue) and from her youthful adventure days where she’s traveled all over the world.  Truth be told though, she hasn’t been in great health lately.  No cruiser wants to get that phone call or email while they’re out traveling that a close family member (or anyone really) has passed away, scrambling to get home with only a few days notice, all the while, wishing they would have spent more time with that person.  We’re still  hoping that we’ll be celebrating her 95th birthday with her when we’re back home from good, but just in case something happens while we’re gone, we wanted to make it home to see her at least one more time.  Besides, doesn’t it feel better being able to celebrate someone’s life while they’re still with you?

Going on zero sleep once again, we gathered at Matt’s grandma’s house for Sunday night dinner.  The whole crowd that usually gathered there for Christmas Eve dinner was there again, and just like Christmas Eve, all the chairs were set up in the living room with everyone to their assigned seat.  We were given a little more freedom for moving around this time and were even to able to sneak a few beers into the house.  Looks like Matt’s mom wasn’t the only one who picked up on the hint that I like Lime-a-Ritas.  Thanks Aunt Laurie!  We talked with everyone about how the trip had been going so far, although it sounded like almost everyone there was up to date on the blog and didn’t have many questions about where we had already been.  They were more excited to know where we were going next.  Where we’d end up with the boat, and what spots we were going to hit on our backpacking adventure.  It was a great evening catching up and spending quality time with family.  The fact that Matt’s cousin was able to stop by for a few minutes with her adorable little son, Chris, was just a cherry on top of a great evening.

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Matt cracking up at Grandma’s stories.

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Crazy and unexplainable things are always happening with this group.


Spending some QT with Christopher.  (photo courtesy of Kristen, or, mommy)


Today has been a nice relaxing day at home with a few hours out to lunch with a good friend and old colleague, Amber.  We used to have desks next to each other ages ago where we would spend our days punching numbers into spreadsheets and sending private messages back and forth.  Even though we both eventually left that job, we’ve always kept in touch here and there and she was one of the first people to ask me to pencil in a date with her while I was back in town visiting.  What were just going to be plans for coffee turned in to lunch, and soon we were downtown, because, why wouldn’t I want to take as many opportunities to get down there as possible?  Over some food and a beer at HopCat we did a little more catching up.  It’s been surprising the variety of questions Matt and I have been getting from family and friends on our visit home.  When we left there were basically five standard questions.  Now we don’t even get bored telling our story because everyone is asking something different.  It’s kind of refreshing.

When we got back to my place after lunch though, the real fun began.  Amber is working to become a make-up artist for events like weddings and senior photos.  Specializing in airbrush make-up, I had seen on her Facebook page where she’d done some runs with family and friends.  I had asked before our date if I could be a test model, and she was more than happy at the chance to practice on me.  Sitting at the kitchen counter trying not to move a muscle, I let the airbrush wand spray over all parts of my face as she worked on base coverage, highlights, and contours.  A little bit of lipstick, eye shadow, and fake eyelashes later, I was all set for my photo shoot.  We took advantage of the good light and cheerful flowers in the garden out back.  Posing against trees, on stools, and even in a bed of stones, I made love to the camera dreamily looked into the camera as Amber snapped away exclaiming, “These are great!”.  It was an entertaining afternoon, and yet another chance to be all girly before I go back to ponytails and no makeup in a few days.

Fotoface 2

Fotoface 1

(Photos courtesy of Amber Hoagland, Fotoface Makeup)



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