Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Happy birthday, Little Lulu

Do you remember the cartoon, Little Lulu? I’m not talking about her today.

Today is my sister Cindy’s birthday. Her nickname is Lulu.

cindySome of my favorite Lulu memories–

  • I made her a (paper) birthday cake on the day she was born with one candle on it. I even put the sticker I earned that day on the back, and sent it to her while she was still at the hospital. (She must not have liked it much because she didn’t bring it home.)
  • bow-tie-cindy
  • She told one of the teachers most of us had for second grade that an upcoming sibling was “different.” (She was right, too! We’re all different!) 😉
  • Cindy and Deegan

Baby Deegan and his Grandmommy

  • When she was nine years old, Omega was born. Mom said she rarely had to get up for middle-of-the-night feedings, because Cindy got there with a warmed bottle first. (Cindy is a great mom! We learned from the best.)

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Not quite all of Lulu’s Crew. (Two babies missing.)

  • People get Cindy and Debbie mixed up a lot. Debbie always wanted to be twins.

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  • People get Debbie and me mixed up once in a while. Triplets? (Dreaming here. Sigh.)
  • hope, kyla, faith, eric and deb
  • Cindy has five (count ’em. F-I-V-E!!!) children.  Only two of these are them. 🙂

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Here’s a couple more and one from above. (Clean up well, don’t they?)

  • Another favorite memory . . . when I was pregnant with #1 Son, G-Man was on 24 hour call so Lulu attended Lamaze classes with me. Not exactly fun, but sweet.

lulu

Saturdays when we were kids was when Mama rolled our hair for Sunday.

  • When I had #1 and no one could (or would) figure out how to help me breast feed him, I told Lulu that when she became a nurse to never let a mama go home without helping her figure it out. Today she’s a certified Lactation Consultant–or something like that. Anyway, her job is to help mamas figure out how to breast feed their babies before they go home. She minds well, doesn’t she? 🙂

bride's-mama

Lulu at her oldest daughter’s wedding. Beautiful, isn’t she?

So . . . why do we call her Lulu? I’ll let you guess. (If you know the answer, make up a better one and post it here.) 😛

 

 

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Wedding Wonders Once More


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Wedding Wonders, II

Think you can stand a few more pictures of the wedding? 🙂

Last time I mainly showed you pictures of the bride and groom. This time, I’m sharing pictures of the families. (A couple of pictures of the bridal party sneaked in.)

Next time, I’ll show you pictures of the wedding itself. Maybe. LOL!

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Another of Our Wedding Trads

A day or two ago, I told you about the Wedding Bible Tradition our mama started back in 1949.

The other important (in my mind, at least) tradition is one that started after Mama died.

I don’t remember who started it. I just know it wasn’t me. One of my brilliant sisters (I’m thinking Sister Debbie or Sister Cindy or maybe both) wore a piece of Mama’s jewelry to one of our Important Events. (Either a graduation or a wedding or something REALLY important, at least in our lives.)

Anyway, they pointed it out to me and said, “I wanted Mama to be represented.” I loved that idea! So after that, I wore something of Mom’s to every Important Event.

When #1 Son had his surprise wedding (have I told you about that?) I wore one of Mama’s rings. When I told him why I was wearing it, he got tears in his eyes for just a moment. Good tears, but still, tears.

At another Important Event, I told the honoree I’d brought Mama and showed my piece of jewelry. Honoree popped back at me and we went away smiling.

Then my niece who lived next door to me for a while got married. Gorgeous girl. Beautiful wedding. Fabulous time. After her makeup was on, while she was dressing, I dropped into the dressing room to say hi.

While I was there, I did my, “I brought Grandmommy,” thing, expecting a sweet smile.

Instead, I got tears. Not just filled eyes. I got TEARS! streaming down her face. “Why’d you do this to me?”

I scrammed out of there, fast! I could just see me walking into the wedding with a black eye or maybe an Indian sunburn from my sister as punishment for my evilness. (Sorry about that, Kendal.)

Fast forward to Brad’s Big Day. No matter how many tears my niece had shed, I still wanted my sibs to represent Mama by wearing her jewelry. So I texted each of them and asked them to wear at least one piece.

 That’s my hand on the far left. I inherited a ring Mama got once when we were in New York City, and while it’s not one I wear very often, it brings back wonderful memories. (I was seven months pregnant with my first son.)

Amy’s is next. She wears Mom’s spinner ring all the time. Deb has on Mom’s ring, and Cindy (far right) who I’m guessing has forgiven me for making her daughter cry at her wedding has on Mama’s ring, bracelet and a necklace.

Even #4, who wasn’t able to make it to the wedding (although she wanted to be there with all her heart) kept Mama with her that day.

Brother Jeffrey forgot.

When I told Brad about it the night of his wedding, there were no tears. No popping back.

He just gave me a sincere smile and said, “Wow, Mom. That’s really nice.”

Maybe I should have called this blog A Show of Hands. 🙂

Anyone want to share a tradition your family enjoys? Wedding? Christmas? Births of babies? Anything?

I’d love to find a new one to rip off. 🙂


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A Ring Thing

This started out to be a post called We Nailed It.

Warning: What you’re about to see maybe disturbing. Look at your own risk.

The foot in the blue sandal is a human foot on a live person. The odd color (paleness) caused by a lack of sunshine. People with this malady can be mistaken for walking snowmen. Do not let this happen to you.

But I forgot to take pictures of all the fun we had.

So I started to take a few this morning to share. You know, Show-And-Tell?

I snapped my toes.

And I snapped my fingers.

And that’s when I noticed what I really wanted to blog about.

The rings I wear. I sleep in them, swim in them, do everything I do in them. (Except get manicures. I take them off for that.)

The larger one is the one my man put on my finger during our wedding. He has one just like it, just a few sizes bigger.

The smaller one was my mama’s. Daddy gave it to her during their wedding. She was eighteen years old. He was nineteen.

 I’ll have worn it for twenty-one years on May 20 this year.

I don’t wear her ring as a protest against drunk driving. And I don’t wear it because its gold or old.

 I wear it to remind me of a couple of kids who got married and started raising a family two years later. Who named their first daughter after a pair of basketball shoes.

Who loved each other so much, worked together so well and had such a perfect marriage, all of their children have turned themselves inside out to emulate it.

I look at her ring and remember the first year we lived in Pryor Creek. Brad’s birthday party was going to flop, and on short notice, Mama gathered up the C-Town grandchildren and an armload of gifts and rushed to be there in time to cheer after he blew out his candles.

I remember the first year I was married and she dreamed I ran away from home. In her dream, she took my man to live with her and Dad.

I remember Mother’s Day weekend twenty-one years ago. I took the kids home to be with her, and she stopped everything to fish with my boys and the rest of the C-Town grandkids.

I look at her ring, and I remember the mother-in-law, the grandmommy, the friend, wife and mother I want to be.

  Mama won’t be at Brad’s wedding, but her spirit will be there in each of her children. And her grandchildren. And her great-grandchildren.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:28-31 NIV


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Know What This Is?

Know what this is?

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Here’s another view.

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I’ll bet you know now. Right?

I’ve been going through pictures, because #3 is getting married in just a few weeks, and he wants them for the nuptial slide show.

I’ll share a few with you. They won’t be very good quality. Some because they never were, and the rest because I didn’t scan them. I took a picture with my iPhone. Faster. 🙂

ImageCan you imagine? This sweet baby is getting married in a matter of days?

I don’t know why I let him grow up in the first place. Or any of them. Sometimes I wish I could have stopped time and just lived with my babies at that young age forever. But then I realize all the wonderful times we’d have missed later.

Since there’s no way I could give those up, I relive the times in my head. Pictures help. (Even with my photography.)

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Ignore the thumb. 🙂

This is #3 after fishing with his bigger brother in the Deer Creek pond. (Deer Creek is the neighborhood we lived in at Pryor Creek.) #3 caught two or three little fish that day because he couldn’t cast very far. The only fish biting were at the edge of the pond.

His older brother could cast his line out to the middle of the pond, where the fish weren’t biting. But bigger brother liked casting more than he wanted to catch anything. Brad made the big haul. But they were all too small to keep. 🙂

ImageDanny “holding” Baby Brother Bradley. Or, Baby Bradley trying to escape.

Brad never wanted to be a baby. He wanted to do everything his brothers did. He walked early, talked early and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep him in a diaper. The brat wanted big boy underwear, like his brothers, so I let him potty train himself.

He grew up so fast.

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Two Year Old Brad fishng in the Illinois River.

This is one of my all time favorite pictures. I have it framed and hanging in my family room. What a happy time that was!

The first year we lived in Pryor Creek, Gary’s dad and his wife, Mattie, came to visit and we all went to the Illinois River (near Tahlequah) for the day. We canoed, picnicked and fished and had a fantastic time.

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The same day in the Illinois River.

The boy couldn’t fish all the time, and his splashes didn’t get us very wet. That night we were exhausted. Good exhausted, but pooped!

As disorganized as I am, I still found lots of pictures of Brad all through his growing up years. School pictures, soccer pictures, his preschool Easter egg hunt when the entire class wore bunny ears made of construction paper.

The one picture I wanted but couldn’t find is of my mother, holding him when he was first born. We were at our home in C-Town. Mama is holding Brad and has the phone propped on her shoulder, talking to #4.

We need that picture. I’ll keep looking.


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March? How’d That Happen?

Can you believe it’s March already? I can’t. Seems like just yesterday was February.

So, March. Anybody know where March got its name? Anybody? (No cheating by looking it up.)

What do you think of when you think of March? I think of —

  1. Wind! In like a lion and out like a lamb or vice versa? I can never remember. Maybe it changes every year, just to keep me confused.
  2. St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve never looked into who St. Patrick was (did he drive the snakes out of Ireland?) or how we’re supposed to be celebrating, but I can’t imagine it’s with green beer. (Yuck.) Or pinching anyone who’s not wearing green.

Question: When you drink green beer, do your teeth absorbed the green color? Or is it just people with green teeth who drink it?

*chortle*

3. Often we have Easter to stress over in March. Not this year (it’s a couple of days after my birthday in April.) So instead of Easter, I’m stressing over–

      4- BB’s wedding.

Hey, stress keeps my heart beating and me kicking, so it’s all good.

March also means that this year is 1/6 gone. Good grief. I think there’s a magician out there somewhere who’s making entire weeks disappear.