Family Ties (and no, we are not talking about Steve Urkel!)


I stole this from my sister’s Facebook. My nephew Gavin waves as he leaves for Afganistan.


I have been thinking about family a lot lately. My oldest nephew has just been deployed to Afganistan, he’s a helicopter mechanic that in my mind is still such a young boy. I can’t believe he is 22, it makes me feel so old. I did have the absolute joy of spending time with him this winter while he was doing some high altitude training here in Colorado. He went snowboarding for the first time ever, and we had dinner. It was so fun to spend time with him and his crew. Here are a few pics from our time together:


Gavin’s first time snowboarding. Auntie J works at a snowboard shop, so he got a good rental and a lesson!


Matt, Gavin, myself and Jay at Moes BBQ, Eagle, CO.



My thoughts and prayers will be with these boys, and I hope yours will be too! I am so thankful that I have family giving so much for our country, and I appreciate all the risk they take to keep our country safe. Love you Gav, stay safe!

I also got an email today that made me think about my grandmother. I received an email from about Mother’s Day, listing some great gifts. The first thing listed was a Lily of the Valley perfume from C.O. Bigelow. While this didn’t make me think of my mother it did make me think of Grammy Dot, who passed away last year. My Stepdad’s mom, Grammy Dot was my real Grandma. Even though I was a granddaughter by marriage and not blood she never treated me as less than my cousins who were related by blood. Even my friends called her Grammy Dot. Every day after school we would go to the farm to feed the horses and cattle and visit with Grammy D. She always had cookie jars filled with oatmeal cream pies, swiss cake rolls, and donut holes. And she had candy dishes with Canada mints, those pink wintergreen candies. Usually we would find her doing a crossword puzzle and sitting with her beloved cats, and after I visited with my horses I would spend an hour or so with her and my cousins, Aunt, Uncle, and Dad Dave. Those are some of my favorite memories of childhood.

Grammy always smelled like Lily of the Valley, they were some of her favorite flowers. My Mom grows them in her garden, and would bring Grammy bouquets occasionally. Whenever I think of Gram I think of Lily of the Valley. When she passed away a little over a year ago, after a thankfully brief illness following a stroke, I went home for her funeral. My cousin Travis spoke at the funeral about how he would always remember her smell, and I feel the same. She always wore a great Lily of the Valley perfume. While visiting her house after the funeral I found the perfect thing to remember her by, a Lily of the Valley candle that was on her mantle. I smell it and it reminds me of Gram. I haven’t been able to burn it, because I want to hold onto her smell forever.


Gram’s Lily of the Valley candle


When I got the email from Beauty Sage today I immediately got out my credit card and placed an order. I can’t wait to get my Lily of the Valley perfume, and I am sure I will tear up as soon as I smell it, just like I do with the candle. Grammy Dot was such an amazing woman, and she will always be missed. I just hope wherever she is that she is surrounded by Lily of the Valley, and that she is playing with her kitties. She is greatly missed down here, although her laughter will never be forgotten!


Ok, I am such a facebook thief. This is from my Aunt Louise Roy’s photos, and it is one of my favorite photos! Grammy’s hands and autumn leaves.




This is another favorite photo of me and Gram, taken by Aunt Louise.

 What are your favorite memories of loved ones? Leave me some stories in the comments below!

love and lily of the valley,