Fridays with G and L: The Chapter Ends

I felt like a bad aunt.  I had talked to G and L about the possibility of a new job since November.  And my gut told me after the first interview that I had a very good chance of landing this new job.  It was a great opportunity for me.  However, it would mean no more Fridays with G and L.  I’d just have to make a little more effort to carve out time for G and L after the first of the year.

It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about MY day with G, and then both G and L, over the course of the year and couple of months between October 2010 and December 2011.  When each of those kiddos was born, I vowed to be an aunt whom they would know well and be able to come to for anything.  I am very fortunate to live only 30 miles away from them, so it’s not like I was never going to see them again.  But yet it would be different.

Then I thought of all of the milestones yet to come, and how I needed to brace myself for those.  I could continue be a strong presence in their lives without my own day.  While I felt selfish at the moment, the tables will turn soon enough when they are older and making decisions in their own lives.

I thought about all of the families who are living hundreds or thousands miles apart.  And I thought about those who I am close to whom I don’t see all of the time.  It’s about the effort and quality time.

And it was time to start a new chapter, as painful as it might be.  I needed to find my career path again, as I felt I had been floating around since I left Victory Enterprises in early 2010.

My sister and brother-in-law have endlessly thanked me for babysitting their kids.  I always tell them I enjoy it, and even that is an understatement.  I learned so much from my Fridays with G and L.  They inspired me to start blogging about them.  They reminded me how trivial my problems were when I saw their faces light up.  While I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would when I drove home that night, I dreaded bringing this chapter of my blog to a close.  So I procrastinated with these final posts.  I didn’t want to type and cry at the same time.

Then I realized I had all of this new material for a new chapter: “Mel, G, and L”.  A NEW CHAPTER.  When one door closes, another opens.

Fridays with G and L: Final Friday

December 30, 2011

My final Friday with G and L; also the final Friday of 2011.

It was a bittersweet day, but of course G and L kept my mind off the finality of everything.

We started the day by creating blanket tents.  G and L’s dad hung out with us for a little bit before he went off to work.


Kentucky Fried Chicken was our Final Friday lunch spot.  Lucy loved it, but G was being a little crabby.


G’s mood improved when we went to get a cupcake.


Then we had to jump on the bed.

And we needed to add an ornament to the tree.


One must not forget that ribbon is an awesome toy.




Once back in Bennett, G and L showed me how to properly play with their race track.




And that’s a wrap!  What a fabulous year and two months spending nearly every Friday with G and then with L also after her arrival!  This series all began with my first “G” post on 10-10-10.  Time flies with my nephew and niece.  Love them to pieces.

Fridays with G and L: Christmas!

December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve 2011.  I was looking forward to this day with G and L.  I love Christmas, and I love G and L.  So much fun!

On this morning I was greeted by a fabulous Christmas gift:

Steve Jobs and Peeps: perfect combo!

When I told my sister Sarah thanks, she informed me that L woke up in her crib with the book one morning, and G picked out the Peeps.  They insisted she wrap them up for Christmas gifts.  Ha ha.  Love it.

G was loving the Christmas tree and decided more than presents belonged under there:

Boots, of course!

We had lots of fun play time in the living room, with G and L attached at the hip (or by feet) as usual:

On Christmas Day, we all got together at Nana and Papa’s house in Durant.

G cooking some food on his new grill
L and her new purse. Tastes good!

Holidays are so much more fun with a niece and nephew!

June Recap

Saying this summer flew by is certainly an understatement.  Thus, here is the June recap, a full 10 weeks late.


Jen’s Bachelorette in Chicago


Business Trip in Waco


Primary Election Day


Jen’s Kansas City Shower


G’s 3rd Birthday


Mitt Romney in Iowa


Red Cross Picnic on the River



Shelly’s Wedding


Tagg Romney at Scott County GOP Headquarters


Quad Cities Chamber “In the Q”


Denver With Cousins

Fridays with G and L: G the Bookworm

December 16, 2011

(continued from the first post about this day – so much material!)

To recap, G and L had fun in their PJs. They are so awake early in the mornings! Good thing I have coffee.

In addition to hiding under the blanket and putting the toy fire truck ladder in L’s mouth, G had one more trick up his sleeve.

OK, G. I get the hint. I need to wash my coat.

During most Friday afternoons G would nap. However, this was one of those days when G didn’t really feel like napping. Being the great Aunt Mel that I am, I was cool with letting G just have quiet time in his room. After a little while, I went to check on him.

Cutest two year old ever!
And then he wakes up….very slowly.

L took a nice long nap and was full of energy afterward.

Look at the iPhone, L!

I have a feeling L is going to be a bookworm just like her big brother.

Fridays with G and L: Haircut Time

December 9, 2011

G and L were so sweet this day, beginning with amusing their Aunt Mel and posing cute in their pajamas.

Posing pretty back in December. G and L are even cuter than usual in their PJs.

And then, all of a sudden, G was ready to go.

G’s hat and bag. What else could you possibly need to go out in December?

This trip to Davenport was going to be a good test of just how good G and L could be.  I was desperate for a haircut, as I had a second job interview at Rainbow International of the Quad Cities the following Monday.  When I walked into Salon Luce in downtown Davenport, the receptionist was super sweet to us.  And so was my stylist Amanda.  However, I received a few uneasy glances from a few of the customers.  I can’t say that I blame them.  I would have reacted the same way if I had seen someone like me walk in the door with a two and a half year old and an eight month old.

We brought the DVD player equipped with Monsters Inc. for security.  And these were the days when L was content sitting in her carrier.  But there were lots of strangers and no real comfy place to sit immediately by my side.

But this is G and L we are talking about.  They popped a squat on the floor against the wall near my stylist’s chair and were good to go.  Never screamed, never complained.  I have no photos, only physical witnesses.  I was stunned and did not want to ruin the moment by busting out the camera.  L even made some cute faces to get some more attention.

OK, I must confess.  I had bribed G with a cupcake if he was good also.  And I had talked all about this haircut repeatedly throughout the morning.  But if you have ever known a two year old, you know that it’s still a gamble.

True to my word, G enjoyed a cupcake afterward.

G was so good that I even let him keep his hat on and eat on the futon.

Then it was time to color!

It’s fun to color with crayons AND markers.

And Lucy was pretty happy too.

Always smiling!

Even though everyone at Salon Luce said G and L are welcome back any time, I am not up for testing my luck.  G and L did me a favor that day, and that is why they are still the world’s best nephew and niece.

Fridays with G and L: Snow, Spot, and Smiles

December 2, 2011

G, L, and I decided to spend most of our day in Davenport.  Immediately upon stepping outside, G noticed a patch of snow in the grass.  He was almost as excited about his second season of snow as he was with his first:

How fast that year came around again!

And G one year later – in 2011.

However, G wasn’t nearly as excited about his first trip to Antonella’s.

G decided to hide under a table, but Aunt Mel was there to catch him on camera when he finally re-emerged.

Our waitress was very nice and brought G some crayons, paper, and an Etch-A-Sketch.  Those things eventually lured him back to our table.

Lucy was super content in her carrier (obviously this was a few months ago before walking!):

Then we went to Aunt Mel’s place to play.

L loves Spot, the Target dog! Jag (the cat in the background) could really care less.
G calls the Target dogs “Mommy” and “Daddy” – of course.
G demanded I take a picture of this…..
…..and this.
The monkey jumping on my bed. (We have special rules at Aunt Mel’s place!)

What a fun day!  I think we all felt like L:

Fridays with G and L: Chillin’ in the Living Room

While G, L, and I have visited many places, it is still nice to just hang out in the living room once in a while.  That’s what we did for a lot of the day back on Friday, November 18, 2011.

Yes, I let G jump on the couch. Bad Aunt Mel!


No big stories or crazy adventures here.  Just plain and simple fun with my favorite two little people.  Looking back at this video, I realize that little L has grown a lot over the past few months.

Fridays with G and L: 11-11-11

G and L treated 11-11-11 just like any other day.  They were their usual creative selves, always surprising Aunt Mel with new skills.

G had fun with Scotch Tape.

Notice the vacuum cleaner hose a.k.a. the fire hose. Perhaps G is taping off the disaster scene.
Very focused.

L decided she would like to fill in as Secretary of the Scott County Republicans.

My assistant secretary!

And not to be outdone, Lucy had plenty of random smiles for the camera on this particular day.

Going for the iPhone - just like her brother. 🙂

11-11-11 was yet another great day with G and L.

March Recap

Since April is mostly gone, I suppose it would be past time to recap March.

1.  I joined BNI: power networking at its best.

2.  Enjoyed a First Friday at the Mississippi River Distilling Company in LeClaire. With the exception of real Kentucky bourbon at the NFRW convention a few months ago, their Cody Road is the smoothest ever.

3.  The Governor & Lieutenant Governor came to town.

4.  St. Patty’s Day in Downtown Davenport.  Stay tuned for the blog post.

5.  Return of spiders.  They are still friendly.  My only issue is deciding whether to rename them or not.  Are they the same ones as last year?  Can’t really tell.

6.  Met up with my red headed cousin Lena at my Grandpa Fosaaen’s old house in Ossian.

Cousin Lena is now my favorite. 🙂

7.  Began work on an office/bedroom in my Dad and stepmom’s farm house near Decorah.

8.  Weekly Mad Men viewings with Beth.  We watch on Mondays and with wine.  Simply fabulous.

9.  Final day of March was spent in my hometown of Fredericksburg.  Enjoyed a great SendOutCards training, as well as a stop at Englebrecht Family Winery.