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Category Archives: family

Day 356/365 – I love my sister’s purse!

I thought it was apropos to post a photo of my sister’s beautiful red purse, since another purse of hers was the original inspiration for this Project 365 [and by “purse of hers,” I mean “her purse, which I ganked…”]

It’s not often that my sister feels as if a purse is calling her name [unlike our mother, the purse maven!] So, when I heard that she had seen and felt a soul connection with this purse, I did not take it lightly. I was so glad when Mom told me that she and I were going to get this purse for Melissa. I have to say: this purse is poppin’! And even though red purses [and shoes] are my favorite, I haven’t yet stolen this purse from my sister. Maybe one day though!


Day 345/365 – I loved seeing Dad in his shop again!

So since my dad underwent quintuple bypass surgery in February, he has been having problems using his right hand and arm due to nerve damage that happened during the surgery. I figure this would be hard on anyone. But on someone who has been a mechanic for 45 years, it has to be SO tough. I mean, since he was 15 years old, Dad has used his hands to make his living. Now they aren’t working for him the way they once were.

On 345/365, I saw my bike in my dad’s shop and wanted to take it for a spin. Anna Marie, of course, also wanted to ride her bike, which needed a little work. So dad did a little maintenance work on our bikes out in his mechanic’s shop. It was just really good to see him out there again. A baby step on his road to recovery!

Day 318/365 – I love seeing Anna Marie’s “thank you” note!

I have something REAAAAALY mushy to tell you (and a not-so-high-quality photo, obviously!)

I think anyone who reads this blog on a “semi reg-LUH*” basis has to know one thing about me, above all else: I miss my niece 24/7 when I am not with her. It’s painful. But there is something I have been able to do while at work the past year or so: Go look at the note AM sent Kat after our company bowling party last year. Seeing AM’s little handwriting does that combo move of both breaking my heart me and reviving my heart (people who have had children in their lives, growing up before their very eyes, probably understand this.)

So on 318/365, I went into the office and took this poor quality camera phone picture, because I really needed it that night.

Day 310/365 – I loved having AM on her first day of Spring Break!

Like any school kid, AM had been looking forward to Spring Break – big time! But I also was looking forward to it, because I knew that my work schedule would allow me to take her for an “Anna Marie/Aunt Manda Day.” It was, sadly, a rainy first day of Spring Break, but we made the most of it.

AM and I had planned some things that were contingent upon good weather, but she very maturely suggested we go to a movie instead when it turned rainy out. So I took her to lunch, took her to see Rango, and ventured into Memphis for one of AM’s favorite things to do with me – Jerry’s Sno Cones.

She had only been to Jerry’s twice before, but AM remembered that she wanted half blue raspberry and half strawberry, which is what she got. She had to eat her sno cone in the car because it was still raining, but she didn’t seem to mind at all! I, however, suddenly realized that none of the day’s events really lent themselves to photographic documentation, so I pulled over and took photos of AM with her sno cone. And that was that! I had some official documentation of our day. It officially brought the Spring Break ’11 edition of “Anna Marie/Aunt Manda Day” to an end. I can safely say “it was a good one!”

Day 309/365 – I love taking AM to Yolo!

Though it breaks my heart just a little that AM is not a cupcake person, I do have great pleasure in taking her to visit Yolo. It’s one of the local frozen yogurt shops,  and I like to take her there when she’s in my neck of the woods.  She likes ice cream and frozen yogurt better than she likes baked goods, and has lots of fun dispensing any combo of frozen yogurt flavors she wants, piling the toppings on high [sometimes TOO high – that gets ‘spensive!] But it’s always a special time with our special girl when we go to Yolo.

Day 303/365 – I love my niece’s love for Star Wars!

This seemed as good a time as any to showcase my niece’s love for Star Wars. My awesome co-worker Nicci knew how much Anna Marie loves Star Wars and gave me this shirt for AM. AM loved it, and she immediately put it on. For once, AM didn’t mind when I said we needed to take pictures, probably because it was to show off one of her favorite things ever: Star Wars! I sweetened the deal by telling her she could use her light sabers (she has TWO!!)

I can’t really pinpoint when my niece began loving Star Wars. I just know that as early as two years ago (when she was in 1st grade) I asked to take her photos and she wanted them to be like characters in an online Star Wars she had been playing on Cartoon Network’s site. I’ve been amazed by her knowledge of all things Star Wars, and really happy to indulge her in this particular interest of hers. Easter, Christmas, Birthdays, what have you – I usually slip something related to her favorite thing into special occasions with AM.

Bonus: I’d bought Anna Marie a C-3PO and gave it to her the same day 🙂

(I was so happy to that AM was thrilled with the shirt Nicci’d given her. AM didn’t take it off that afternoon after she’d tried it on, and even had me leave the shirt out that night so her Mom would let her wear it to school the next day!)

Day 290/365 – I loved watching Anna Marie ride the High Cycle!

This was also on our field trip to Alabama, on our visit to McWane Science Center. I loved watching Anna Marie fearlessly ride the High Cycle, two stories above the ground. She loved it!

McWane Science Center is a GREAT museum, but we had only about half an hour to explore it after we watched an IMAX film. I’m definitely looking forward to perhaps taking a family trip to Birmingham some time, so we can get more time to see all the exhibits!

It was VERY high off the ground!


Day 287/365 – I love that Anna Marie learned to SNAP!

When Anna Marie was younger, she used to get sooooo frustrated when she wanted to do something but didn’t know how.  Among those frustrations was her inability to snap. AM had a theory though: Once she started kindergarten, she’d learn how to snap there. She thought the same of learning to whistle, I believe. Unfortunately, beginning kindergarten didn’t automatically bestow new finger-snapping skills on AM, as she had once believed. I hadn’t heard anything about the matter in quite some time, seeing as AM is currently in 3rd grade and has left her idyllic pre-kindergarten days behind her . But imagine my delight  when I was lunching with Mom and AM, and I was presented AM’s new-found snapping abilities.

I’m sure her Gramma will be finding a place for AM’s snapping skillz on Gramma’s next album.


Day 286/365 – I love Anna Marie’s new wrist bands!

Like Anna Marie’s new wristbands? They’re pretty fly, huh? She had a little money saved and decided she wanted to spent it on theses wristbands. Anna Marie plays in a church basketball league and bought the sweatbands because she thinks they’re “just like the ones Lebron James wears.”

I love it.

Day 282/365 – I love “Amanda Loves”: Valentine’s Edition, Part II!

I got SO excited when I figured out that I’d actually get TWO Valentine’s Days during “Amanda Loves,” thanks to sending the project into extra innings after the “silent months.”

My niece will always be my #1 Valentine. You know that. And this Valentine’s with her was just ideal. I made mini, vegan heart-shaped brownies for her (and Mallory!) and put together a little gift bag for her with toys and candy. I was able to meet up with my parents and AM while my mom was at the doctor. It was supposed to be a surprise, but apparently my brother-in-law told AM that I was coming (she said “he told me the WHOLE THING.”) I went to the doctor’s office to “surprise” AM. When I opened the door, AM was sitting across from the it, playing games on my mom’s phone. She saw me, handed dad the phone, and started walking to the door, without a word. My dad couldn’t see me from where he was sitting, and didn’t know why AM was just walking towards the door. He said “Where are you going??” I stuck my head through the door and said, “With me!”

AM prefers to be outside whenever possible, so she and I walked around in the beautiful weather while waiting on Mom to get out of her doctor’s appointment. It was such a sweet afternoon together.