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My grandma turned 90

I wanted to share a little about a quick trip I took in February.  This may be of little interest to many of you, but it’s an out of the ordinary Saturday post for myself and my fam.  I flew out to Utah to my grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration.  It made me so  happy that she was so happy to see me…even though she mentioned a few times that she wished I brought my little ones. We plan to take a big family trip out in June, so I re-assured her she’d get to squeeze them! I was planning to surprise her, but a week or so before I went out, she was talking to my dad saying how sad she was that none of his kids were coming (our fam has been the only of her offspring to stray away from the Utah mountains) and he told her that me and my older brother were coming.  She cheered right up (which in turn made me happy to hear). Before I went out, I helped my cousin’s wife design an invitation for the big day. It was really fun to go through a bunch of her pictures and design something for it.

Isn’t my Grams gorgeous?!?  Her name is pronounced va-neice.

Really, I stink at design. It is something I’d like to learn and get better at. I took elements from digital cards I had on file and changed the colors around. I used digital “polaroids” to insert the pictures on the back. I was pretty happy with it. She liked it too, so that made me even more happy.

I was to fly out on a Friday afternoon and Saturday night, I got a text from my airline telling me my flight might be cancelled due to severe weather in Denver where I was changing planes. Sure enough, Friday morning it was cancelled I (along with my parents) was scrambling to find any flight to get me there on Saturday. My brother flying from Houston was supposed to be on the same flight and we were going to meet up in Denver to fly in together, but he got re-routed and that didn’t happen.  I enjoy flying alone and chatting with strangers and hearing their life stories, along with digging into a magazine without interruption! It’s a rare treat.

My mom and her parents picked me up in Salt Lake and we met my dad and his mom for dinner.  There I was–a relatively young buck with the company–with a bunch of grandparents for dinner. I liked to tease and remind them of that. Below are my mom’s parents Neal and Faye.  They live relatively close to my other Grams and they joined us a lot of the weekend. Love them.

But really, it was fun to have them all to myself. After, we picked up some cupcakes and cake bites from The Sweet Tooth Fairy Bake Shop

Then headed back to grandma’s. I got to sleep in the room with Grammie’s big loud oxygen machine.  She insisted on taking it out, but I assured her I enjoyed the humming noise…it would lullaby me (I have to have a fan on at night for noise, it was perfect!)  The oxygen gives her a little lift and spring to her 90 year old step. I was actually sleeping in this very room about 14 years ago when my grandpa, her husband passed away.  I had come up from college (just an hour or so away) when we knew his time was close.

This is the view from my Gram’s front window.  Lovely, isn’t it?  

In the morning, I ate breakfast with my dad at the spinning bar stools that my brothers and I used to fight over as a child. My dad has commuted to a job in Nigeria for the past 4 years.  He’s always filled with stories, and it was enjoyable to have some one on one time. He’s usually taking my kids to the park or napping on the floor (regular time zone changes) when I see him, so this was fun.

We helped Grams get ready for her big party, and then help my cousins and aunts set up the place a bit. My cousin Lisa organized all of the pictures in the frames and made an album.

Below are the current family pictures of their childrens family (recognize the one on the right?)

My cousin’s daughter–I was sad my daughter wasn’t there to play with her.

My 2 cousins daughters that I wished my daughter was there to play with…I passed my camera off to my brother for the night while I did some video interviews.

Below are the cousins that I am closest with. Those I played with the most while growing up, and still have a close friendship with.  Funny, my fam had 3 boys and one girl, and so did my dad’s brother.  Too bad I didn’t get any of that red hair passed on….;(

My mom and her B.F.F.

My cousin arranged for the elementary school to put up this sign.  Since she attended that same school and has lived in that same town her entire life (just can’t fathom that one).

That evening, I REALLY wanted to go to SLC to get some Bruges Waffles and Frites, so I convinced my brother and 2 cousins to come along. I had the waffles last May when I went to my friend Kelsey’s wedding, and have been dreaming of them ever since.  The fries and JUST as delicious with amazing unique sauces to dip them in.  Oh, my mouth is watering now…My one cousin works as a property manager at the Gateway Shopping plaza in SLC, so we went into his office to eat (it was COLD outside and the store front doesn’t have much seating). Here is a not so flattering pic of the boys as we eat (from my phone).

Close up on my yumminess:

We had fun that night laughing about old times…when we would run through the cornfields behind their house and playing crazy games in my grandma’s basement. They also grew up in the same town as my Gram’s, so their homes hold some of my favorite childhood memories.

Sunday morning, we busted out some Rummikub to play with Grams…(the only pic of my bro and I from the weekend)



Love this beautiful lady. The next day, I went to church with her (and tried not to whisper to my cousin Mike the whole time) and she asked me to help her walk up to the podium to share her testimony of the Savior. (It is customary in our church to do that on the first Sunday of each month). It was very sweet and short, but it was a blessing to hear. I then shared my brief thoughts to the congregation of the gratitude of her legacy.

My grams and I had a heart to heart that afternoon.  Just hours before I flew back home.  I was no longer her granddaughter, but a peer, and that was nice.



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  1. Suzanne says:

    I feel kind of teary after reading your post. Trips like those are definitely blessings and I am so glad you shared yours.

  2. Jacqueline says:

    Wow – you still have 3 grandparents – what a blessing! Sounds like you had a great time with a precious woman. (Oh, and I don’t know what’s wrong with your design skills – I rather liked the invite!)

  3. What a beautiful post and your grandma is sure looking great for being 90 years old!

  4. Great post. You tell stories well. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Beautiful! You are so lucky! I only have one grandparent left — and she is in the throws of Alzheimer’s — she doesn’t know who I am anymore. :o( What a wonderful weekend you got to spend with her!

  6. how beautiful! I am so happy you were able to go! I only have one grandparent left…my dad’s mom… this makes me miss her and want to visit so bad! Love all the pics and the invitation is cute too! great job!

  7. How nice a post and wonderful that you were able to be there with your grandmother!!! She looks absolutely amazing!

  8. Stacy Light says:

    What a great birthday party! It looks like you had a wonderful time with your family. I enjoy an adults-only trip every once in a while.

  9. I love the picture of you and your Grandma! How wonderful that you were able to fly there for her birthday celebration!

  10. This is Barb, Liz’s mom. Beautiful post! We’re doing a 90th for my mom in May.

    Is that BFF by any chance KK Ellis? She’s a longtime friend of ours from BYU Law School days.

  11. She doesn’t look 90! :)

  12. You and your grandma are both gems!

  13. Loved reading this! My grammy just turned 91 this past month and I just love spending time with her. Hope all is well!


  1. [...] blog for a while, you might remember that a year ago last February, I flew out of state to attend my grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration. It’s a BIG deal to turn 90, and though she tried to convince her family that she [...]